July 16, 2021
Michelle has been dreaming about owning her own home in South Hedland for years. Now that dream has a strong chance of becoming a reality since Michelle and her partner Peter joined the Hedland Aboriginal Home Ownership Program.
The new program provides working families with an affordable rental property, and access to services that focus on employment, education, financial independence and household management, toward ultimately buying their own home.
Michelle works hard as a receptionist at a local organisation in Port Hedland, and had been renting a house from the Housing Authority for 15 years. So she was over the moon when representatives of the new program called her and explained that she was eligible to apply. Michelle and Peter are now renting a three bedroom house at a lower rent than they had been paying for a two bedroom house, and making excellent progress with saving for a home deposit.
“I love it here, it’s a great house and I have more room for my grandkids when they come over to play”, Michelle said.
The Department of Communities engaged Foundation Housing to provide property and tenancy management for the program. Bloodwood Tree Association Inc is providing services to help participants move toward home ownership, while also improving employment opportunities and financial independence.
“The people at Bloodwood Tree and Foundation Housing are really looking after us. They contact us regularly to talk about the tenancy, and see how we are going with our savings for a deposit”, Michelle said.
After being the first family to sign up for the Hedland Aboriginal Home Ownership Program, Michelle and Peter moved into their Foundation Housing property in February 2021. Since then, Michelle says that interest in the initiative has spread by word of mouth.
“I would really recommend the program. A lot of people have been asking me how I got my house, and they are now exploring their options, and some have already moved in. Everyone’s happy now, especially the people with young families.”