Plans lodged for Common Ground

AN application to build the state government’s Common Ground housing in East Perth has been lodged with Perth council.

The design for the corner of Wellington and Hill Streets shows a 17-storey building with 112 units, up from the 70-bed facility that was originally announced. 

It’ll be half social housing and half supportive housing for people with complex needs. 

Most units are one-bedroom apartments with some studio apartments complete with self-contained kitchens and bathroom. 

Support

It has office space for support and medical services and commercial space for cafes or function areas. It’ll have a single entry with 24-hour security.

WA housing minister John Carey says “it’s based on the housing first approach, where you have intensive support for rough sleepers to make the transition to permanent housing”.

It’s been near two years after the plan was first announced, with construction originally pegged to start before mid-2022. 

Mr Carey told the Voice a lot of work had gone into “creating a house designed to ensure people who’ve suffered trauma have the best [chance] to live in those surrounds,” known as trauma-informed design principles. “So for example: access to good outdoor areas, wider hallways with light and natural ventilation, these sort of design principles.

“If you poorly design a room it can look like a prison,” he says, and the trauma-informed design aims to make for a safe, calming, healing home. 

Mr Carey says he’s been queried on whether the location is appropriate, and he says the city is the right place since that’s where many rough sleepers already are. “I do get some feedback from people saying ‘push these services outside of the city’.

“You find rough sleepers in the city because there is activity, there are people, they feel safer, there is a hospital… you need to have services in the city.”

The second common ground is planned for Mandurah, and together they’re costing $73.5 million including $8 million from the federal government through the Perth City Deal. 

The plans are up for comment until December 3, then the decision is made by the joint Perth council/state government Development Assessment Panel. 

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