In September 2012, the Department of Communities (formerly Housing Authority) launched the program in Kununurra with an initial 40 transitional houses. It has since been widely acclaimed, and has won the 2013 Premier’s Award for the Improving Aboriginal Outcomes category.
In building on the success of Kununurra, the program expanded with another 15 houses in Halls Creek and then into the West Kimberley with 40 transitional houses in Broome and 20 in Derby.
In September 2017, the Transitional Housing Program was the winner of the Leading Community Engagement Practice award at the 2017 Australasian Housing Institute's (AHI) WA Professional Excellence in Housing Awards. The awards recognize the housing professionals who have made a significant and lasting difference to tenants, clients, the community, and their profession.
The Program is supported by the Kimberley Development Commission and State Government’s Royalties for Regions Program.
Home ownership has become a reality for 26-year-old Sarah, due to her strong determination to build a new home for her family, with the support of the Transitional Housing Program.
Having grown up in Perth, Sarah moved to Broome about eight years ago and it was there she met her partner Sam and decided to stay.
“I am a proud Noongar woman from Perth and my partner is a Yawuru and Karrajarri man born and raised in Broome.
I work at the Department of Human Services and Sam is an electrician.
The program wasn’t my first opportunity to rent, but it was my first opportunity to rent and live solely with my partner Sam.
Although I am generally confident with money management, it was an opportunity to have support while striving to achieve our shared goal of purchasing our first home together.
Towards the end of the program the Department also assisted us with transitioning into our new home, financial counselling and with moral support.
Every part that the program played in helping us achieve this goal has also played a part in changing our life.”
In two years, Sarah was able to save and build a new house with Sam, while also working and completing a Diploma in Leadership in Management during her pregnancy and after the birth of her daughter, Sofia.
Reaching their goal in just over a year, Sarah and Sam started building their house in June 2017 and then moved out of their transitional housing, and into their brand-new home in February 2018, when all the work was complete.
Sarah, Sam and Sofia