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Housing

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Over the past five years we have implemented huge changes in the MWW Housing Department. These changes have been bought about by new policy requirements introduced by the Federal Government to the State government (Department of Housing) as part of the COAG process.  Department of Housing has reacted to the new policies by promising to mainstream Aboriginal Housing so that it comes into line with Homes west housing across the country. Part of the COAG process was that the Commonwealth government built over two hundred new houses and refurbished over a hundred existing dwellings in the Fitzroy Valley in; Wangkajunka, Yiyili, Junjuwa, Yungora, Loanbun, Mindi Rardi, Kurnangi, Muludja, Yakanurra, Joy Springs, Gillarong, Buruwa, Bungardi and Bayulu.  Along with the new houses came a lot of changes in the way that each tenant and also MWW were to manage the properties. This has not been an easy change for most people and will probably take more time before community councils/tenants and even MWW are running the program to the point at which it is comparable to mainstream

During the five years MWW Housing has grown from a program with only several staff to having three divisions and nearly forty staff in town site and also based at communities. This process has been a challenging one and thankfully the housing staff at MWW have been a great team and worked hard to ensure that we are one of the best Regional Service Providers in the Kimberley with an excellent relationship with DOH.  However one of the biggest things the management team at MWW are aware of is that the housing team have to balance a great working relationship with DOH with an excellent relationship with councils and in some cases the two don’t match up. This is where the MWW housing team work hard in constantly trying to achieve outcomes that meet everyone’s expectations.

New Programs; The Marra Worra Worra Housing Department has grown very large over the last five years and has tendered for and received two new programs.

In Home Tenancy Support (IHTSP) and the Sustainable Tenancies Program (STEP). The two programs have almost doubled the staff numbers at MWW and as well as providing more support for Fitzroy tenants they have provided much needed employment opportunities for the Fitzroy Valley community.

 

Picture IHTS

 

JOB orders; On any month MWW will deal with anywhere from 300-500 job orders and they can vary from minor job orders like broken door handles to life threatening situations such as live wires, house fires etc. Unfortunately even though things have improved dramatically a proportion of job orders are still caused through negligence or wilful damage. This has a very negative effect on communities due to several factors such as the cost and impact on other tenants but also means that contractors are often spending time on repairing these issues rather than fixing genuine R&M issues.

 

Contractors; Over the last five years we have gone from almost zero Indigenous business owned contractors to around sixty percent which is well above most other service providers and is well above the government industry standard in place at around twenty five percent. We are always trying to improve on this statistic including seeking to engage more of the smaller contractors from the community that are finding it hard to get work through the new Mainstream Housing system.

 

Non HMA communities; The Non HMA communities such as Ganinyi, Girriyoowa, Bawoorooga, Biridu, Jimbalagudunj, Ngalingadji, Kadjina, Koorabye, Mimbi, Galeru Gorge etc are struggling with their housing stock in terms of financial capability. Non HMA communities haven’t been refurbished and as a result most of the houses still have non essential systemic type problems that aren’t being addressed through the R&M funds available to MWW. The commonwealth government has confirmed that there is not going to be any more communities taken on to the HMA list, so at this stage their wont be any more refurbishments carried out in the Valley. MWW housing  are now going to look for other sources of funding such as private investment or other funding models rather than just government.

Housing Management Agreements (HMA): Along with building and construction the Commonwealth Government has signed all of the affected communities on to HMA’s which is an agreement between Department of Housing (DOH) and each of the affected communities.  The HMA includes policies on evictions, tenant liability, rent arrears,and waitlist allocation amongst other things.

 

New Office; The MWW housing department has now moved into the old MWW office after carrying out extensive renovations to accommodate all the housing staff. Once the final touches have been finished we are going to have a community barbeque and invite everyone to come and get acquainted with the new office.

MWW Manager- Vaughan Duncan

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MWW – Housing Team

Picture Housing


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