Milestone Reached on Delivering Wyn Carr House for Vulnerable Women

Safe housing for some of Western Australia’s most vulnerable women is a step closer with the Wyn Carr House project finalising a funding arrangement with the State Government.

Funding of $2,537,265 has been allocated from the Social Housing Economic Recovery Package Grants Program (SHERP) to go towards the construction of a modern and respectful two-storey accommodation facility. This funding brings the total contribution from the Department of Communities to $3,037,265 to support the refurbishment of the historic Wyn Carr House.

“We are proud of reaching this milestone because it is progress toward providing critical short and medium-term accommodation for women aged over 55 who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness,” Uniting WA’s Co-CEO Michael Chester said.

“The most recent ABS statistics indicate that in 2016, 49,000 women in Australia were facing homelessness each night, with women over 55 becoming the fastest growing cohort of people experiencing homelessness in Australia.”

“We know that supported transitional housing works as an effective measure to prevent homelessness, and investment in these services is critical to enable people to take the first step in their journey to exit homelessness.”

“The SHERP funding is a significant contribution towards this project, with other significant contributions being made by philanthropic financial donations, donations of pro bono professional services, building and construction materials, and other goods.”

Projects funded under SHERP’s New Build Grants program include houses, units, transitional housing and crisis accommodation to support vulnerable and at-risk people, or those having difficulty accessing housing.

“All going well, we are aiming to begin site works in early 2023 and hoping to have women in safe housing at Wyn Carr by early 2024. The sooner we can make this happen, the sooner we can start helping women in dire need.”

“We continue to seek support to help close the funding gap to ensure the reimagined Wyn Carr
House becomes a reality. You can actively support women in our community through a generous
(and tax deductible) contribution, whether it be financial or a donation of materials and products to construct, fit out and operate this facility to assist Uniting WA to help vulnerable women rebuild their lives,” Mr Chester said.

$1.5 million is needed from supporters to complete the project, with a further $150,000 needed
each year to support residents transitioning to independence.

This project is being delivered in partnership by Uniting WA and Housing All Australians (HAA), with more than $1 million in professional services, construction materials, and furnishings also donated through further partnerships with over 20 individuals and private companies.

MinterEllison partner and HAA WA Chair Lee Rossetto said the project was a leading example of how private industry and government could work together to support the community sector.

“This model of collaboration shows what can be achieved when purpose-led private sector organisations partner with the not-for-profit sector to get things done,” Mr Rossetto said.

Uniting WA, which owns the property, will be the service provider, with residents able to access counselling, as well as educational, financial and career advice.

The redevelopment honours the heritage of both the building and the services that have operated from Wyn Carr House. Uniting WA’s shared history with the Fremantle community provides a unique opportunity to create a real and sustainable impact for at-risk women.