Bulletin Board: The First Home Project
There is a housing crisis in Perth. Only 2 per cent of rental properties are vacant, say the McKenna crew - Jarrod, Teresa and their son Tyson - behind The First Home Project.
The McKennas have spent the past eight years living and working in Lockridge amongst the marginalised, indigenous, homeless and refugee members of Australian society; Teresa as a social worker and Jarrod as World Vision's National Advisor for Youth, Faith and Activism and an Ambassador for Welcome to Australia and founder of 'Welcome to My Place', a movement practising hospitality for refugees amongst the local community.
During this time, they've seen changes and identified a pressing need.
"The mining boom has seen a huge increase in the number of renters and this additional competition has left parties outbidding each other to lease the few rental properties on the market," they say. "In this environment, refugees - our newest Australians - struggle to access affordable accommodation, let alone accommodation close to employment opportunities or community services."
The First Home Project is designed to help provide affordable medium-term accommodation and an inclusive community for refugees who are struggling in this housing crisis context. The house they’ve found is in an exciting, growing suburb in Perth. The property has enough bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens for three families at a time, and with some renovations, in as little as a month it could be ready for their young family and some of our newest Australians to move into.
But, for the McKennas, The First Home Project isn’t just about a house. It’s about building a community. It’s about providing a ‘hand up’ with affordable accommodation and walking alongside them as they build their new lives in Perth. Jarrod, Teresa and Tyson are excited about creating a home for their young family and their new refugee friends.
"The banks don’t get it. Maybe you do?", says Jarrod."Our world is desperate for alternative economics and we have been overwhelmed by the generosity and excitement of people who have wanted to “be the bank” and make our home for refugees happen. The compassion of the people who have offered to help may inspire you."
Jarrod and Teresa made an offer to the owner of the property and it was accepted. Like many young Aussies when purchasing their first home, they looked forward to accessing things like The First Home Owners Grant and securing their first mortgage. The problem is the banks don’t see the property as residential, but deem it commercial and so have rejected their home loan application – despite the fact that it’s zoned residential!
Jarrod and Teresa need to raise $600,000 by Sunday the 12th of August to make The First Home Project a reality. This $600,000 will pay for the property as well as the renovations it needs to make this place a home. You can practically support this project and demonstrate your love by giving or lending to this project here.
First Home Project from First Home Project on Vimeo.
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