Nationals WA pledge $2m for youth homeless centre at Albany’s Norman House

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
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Norman House on Stirling Terrace.
Camera IconNorman House on Stirling Terrace. Credit: Shannon Smith/ Albany Advertiser

A plan to transform Norman House on Stirling Terrace into a youth homeless centre could be bolstered by $2 million funding from the Nationals WA if they form government on March 13.

Albany Youth Support Association has been collaborating with the building’s owner, Advance Housing, since 2019 to devise a business proposal for the transitional accommodation facility for homeless youth.

Despite the demand for youth homelessness accommodation, the seven-room building has sat empty for some time.

AYSA estimated it would need $1.2m to revamp the building and an additional $800,000 to deliver the service component.

The organisation operates Young House, an eight-room refuge for people aged 15-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

They can stay at the facility for up to three months and access a range of support to find permanent accommodation.

Nationals WA Albany candidate Delma Baesjou said with a waitlist of 10 people, the service was “constantly at capacity” and demand had risen by almost 140 per cent since 2020.

“As recently as this year, youth seeking crisis accommodation have had to sleep at the Young Street lodge in their swags given the shortage of available beds,” she said.

“Our commitment would allow AYSA and Norman House owner Advance Housing to proceed with structural and fit-out requirements to make way for additional beds for those in need.”

Nationals WA Leader Mia Davies said an increase in homelessness in Albany in recent years highlighted the need for more accommodation options.

“While the waitlist seems relatively short now, we are concerned that when the moratorium on rent increases and evictions lifts in March, housing and rental pressures will increase, potentially meaning more people sleeping rough in the Great Southern,” she said.

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