New 100-bed homelessness facility to keep our communities safe

Posted on February 7, 2021
  • $14.3 million to immediately house up to 100 rough sleepers in new supported accommodation
  • $3.8 million to provide Aboriginal-led support services at the Wellington Street facility
  • This builds on the McGowan Labor Government’s $1 billion provision of support and services
  • New initiatives on top of WA Labor’s $48.95 million homelessness package election commitment

A re-elected McGowan Labor Government will roll-out a plan to immediately provide transitional and crisis accommodation for people experiencing homelessness in the Perth metropolitan area and Fremantle, with $14.3 million already set aside.

Up to 100 people will be housed and supported at the existing Wellington Street facility, which is to be leased as part of an interim solution while longer-term State Government projects in the pipeline to break the cycle of homelessness are completed.

In a targeted approach, $3.8 million, already in the 2020-21 Mid-Year Review, will be redirected to provide intensive intervention for residents of the Wellington Street complex in partnership with an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO), to ensure residents get the appropriate support they need.

The redirected funds, which had previously been allocated to helping rough sleepers at the now-defunct Lord Street Bridge camp, will be delivered through an innovative service model that aims to help chronic rough sleepers to get their lives back on track.

These significant new commitments will house and support vulnerable people while longer-term State Government projects to address homelessness, including two Common Ground facilities in central Perth and Mandurah, are being developed.

They build on the McGowan Labor Government’s significant commitment to spend $48.95 million on a new homelessness package, including $39.3 million to establish Perth’s first Aboriginal short-stay accommodation facility to provide more temporary housing for Aboriginal people travelling to Perth for medical, cultural, family or personal reasons.

The package also includes a $6 million fund to support proposals that ensure more on-the-ground homelessness initiatives are tailored to differing local government areas’ needs, and $3.65 million to continue and expand the delivery of the Street Doctor Program that provides a welcoming, fully bulk-billed mobile clinic.

The new $14.3 million investment has already been allocated, and will be reflected in the upcoming Pre-election Financial Projections Statement, to be released shortly.

Comments attributed to Community Services Minister Simone McGurk:

“We want WA to be a safe place where everyone has a comfortable place to sleep.

“Homelessness is complex, which is why the McGowan Government is investing in proven initiatives that we know will improve outcomes for vulnerable people and break the cycle of homelessness.

“We already have a number of significant projects in the pipeline to address homelessness using the evidence-based Housing First model, which combines stable housing with wraparound supports.

“While our longer-term projects are developed, an interim solution of additional accommodation for rough sleepers will help keep vulnerable people safe and our communities strong.

“That’s why, if the McGowan Labor Government is re-elected, we will build on our track record of delivering effective policies and initiatives by leasing a 100-bed supported accommodation facility on Wellington Street to give rough sleepers a safe place to rest and access support.

“We are already delivering results for vulnerable Western Australians, and boosting the number of beds in the system by 100 using an existing facility will make an immediate difference to the lives of many people experiencing homelessness in our State.”

Media contact: Lannie Le-Patterson 0457 535 224

What the McGowan Labor Government has already delivered:

  • $222 million Housing and Homelessness Investment Package, which includes:
    • o   $35 million for two common ground facilities and services to support evidence-based homelessness outcomes
    • the $34.5 million Housing First Homelessness Initiative to provide stable housing for 140 families a year across the Perth metropolitan area, Rockingham, Mandurah, Bunbury and Geraldton through rental subsidies
    • $150 million to build more than 500 social and affordable homes, plus refurbish 70 homes and;
    • $2.3 million for an online data and case management system to make it easier for people experiencing homelessness to find appropriate accommodation and services.
  • Social Housing Economic Recovery Package ($319 million), which includes the build or purchase of approximately 250 new dwellings, refurbishment of 1,500 social housing dwellings and maintenance for 3,800 regional social housing.
  • $394 million METRONET Social Housing and Jobs Package
  • $25 million 16-bed youth mental health and alcohol and drug homelessness service
  • $10.5 million for specialist homelessness services to address any increase in demand for support as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of the WA Recovery Plan
  • $38 million to build Aboriginal Short Stay Accommodation facilities in the East Kimberley and Geraldton
  • $395,000 for 20 Lives 20 Homes Freo program to provide permanent supported accommodation for people with complex needs using rental subsidies; and
  • Launch of WA’s first 10-year strategy to address homelessness, All Paths Lead to A Home.