There is an urgent need for safe, secure, appropriate and affordable housing for Aboriginal people as a fundamental building block for families moving out of poverty. FISH works with Aboriginal people to create opportunities for them to own sustainable, appropriate, secure and affordable homes and break intergenerational cycles of poverty that cause homelessness and housing insecurity.
The rate of home ownership of Aboriginal Australians is almost half that of non-Aboriginal home ownership, reflecting a legacy of intergenerational disadvantage. In response to this FISH has developed a Home Ownership Model whereby we build safe, secure, appropriate and affordable houses, through a co-design process using sustainable principles. Aboriginal people go through a selection process and who will then purchase their homes at 75% of the market value. The core strategies of our model are:
- We engage with Aboriginal communities through a local Commission of Elders and leaders.
- Aboriginal families are co-selected by the local Commission and FISH through an open and transparent process.
- We directly engage Aboriginal families in designing and constructing their own home.
- We incorporate sustainable, renewable and conservation design principles.
- We train and employ Aboriginal people and support local Aboriginal businesses.
- We strengthen local support networks to build family and community resilience.
- We improve Aboriginal people’s financial literacy and management.
- We remove barriers for Aboriginal people to access finance for home loans.
- We secure blocks of land at no cost or below commercial value.
- We tailor our design and construction processes to reduce cost and time to build while preserving standards.
We implemented our model first in Western Australia 2020 due to our foundational partnerships with Government, Aboriginal Elders and leaders, Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs), Aboriginal-owned businesses and landowners.
The housing is developed on the principle of Co-design where the home owners are involved in designing their own home to ensure it is culturally appropriate and meets their needs.
The community are also involved in the Co-construction assisting with the building of their own home.
The FISH Team provide financial literacy support and budgeting to the family for a 12 month period covering the preparation for home ownership through to 6-8 months post support on financial requirements of owning their own home.
FISH has entered into Memorandum of Understanding’s with five Aboriginal owned companies in the construction industry being:
- Tjuart Architects;
- Kardan Construction;
- Wilco Electrical;
- SML Painting Solutions;
- Regional Services Group (Plumbing & Civil Works).