Public housing

Geraldton social housing pilot program sees homeless people move into long-term housing

A pilot program to help homeless people transition into longer-term housing has been announced for Geraldton.

Ten tenants will be relocated to six refurbished units in the northern suburb of Spalding, with work support services to achieve independent living.

Housing and Homelessness Minister John Carey said it was an “intensive” program to support people in long-term accommodation.

“If we want to make sure that people who have been rough sleepers can actually keep their accommodation and stay in that accommodation, we need support,” he said.

The Batavia Motor Inne hasn’t had official guests in years, but every night people check in to seek shelter in the streets of Geraldton.(ABC Midwest and Wheatbelt: Laura Meachim)

Mr Carey said the Department of Communities and ICARE’s Drug and Alcohol Support Service would work with tenants to develop individual support plans and connect them to services.

“They may need help with alcohol or drugs, and so it will be counseling, for example trying to deal with addiction,” he said. he declares.

“You can’t force people to make the decision to move from the streets to housing. It has to be a long-term commitment process.”

Ten people are part of the pilot, some of whom stayed at the abandoned Batavia Motor Inne building in Geraldton.

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The state government spent $400,000 to renovate the six alcohol-restricted units, which were part of the vacant public housing stock in need of work.

The pilot does not have a specific end date, but the minister said it would depend “on the needs of the individual”.

He said there was the possibility of expanding the program further if the program went well.

“There are more than likely other units [where] we will do the same model,” he said.

“We are not looking for miracles here, but we are looking for a long-term sustainable rental.”