Acquisition of the El Caballo Lifestyle Village to be used
A progressive new venture to address homelessness among South West Noongar people promises an innovative solution that will deliver much more than housing.
Developed by the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC), it involves purchasing strategically located properties and developing them into integrated hubs offering accommodation options as well as care and support services and training to empower Aboriginal people to transform their lives.
The focus is on tackling issues such as unemployment, family violence, a lack of childcare and alcohol and drug use which can not only lead to homelessness but are in turn exacerbated by a lack of permanent accommodation.
The game-changing approach will be delivered by the newly established Aboriginal Housing Foundation (AHF) – a special purpose Charitable Trust overseen by joint trustees, the Noongar not-for-profit Aboriginal Housing Recovery Centre Limited (AHRCL) and Equity Trustees.
El Caballo Lifestyle Village
SWALSC Chief Executive Officer, Wayne Nannup, said the AHF has hit the ground running with the acquisition of the El Caballo Lifestyle Village in the Wheatbelt town of Wundowie.
“It will ultimately be developed into a multi-purpose complex offering accommodation for up to 180 vulnerable Noongar people and will include specialist aged care facilities,” he said.
“A rehabilitation centre, domestic violence refuge and childcare centre for up to 50 Aboriginal children will add vital care and support services that are just as important as the bricks and mortar.”
Mr Nannup said the running of the multi-purpose site will create vocational training opportunities in horticulture, language, childcare and property management and a Trade Centre will be equipped to support hospitality and catering, as well and building and construction.
“Although purchasing a mature property like El Caballo means we will need to do some remedial work, it gives us a great location within a vibrant, well-established community and a variety of multi-use accommodation styles.
“The sub-division and aged care approvals already in place mean we can also commence the new construction we need to undertake immediately, significantly cutting development time,” he said.
Taking control of the future
The Aboriginal Housing Foundation is a huge step forward in South West Noongar people taking control of their own future with long-term investment in programs that meet their specific needs.
“We’re not sitting around waiting for other people to deliver on promises and create meaningful opportunities for our community,” said Mr Nannup.
“Noongar people have ownership of this initiative and are inspired to achieve results that will set the benchmark for the rest of Australia.”