On June 20 2020, CHCA finalised an agreement with the Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities for the establishment and delivery of a new Transitional Housing Program at 34 South Terrace, Alice Springs.

Officially launched on 4 November 2020 with a smoking ceremony, ‘Apmere Urtle’ provides supported accommodation to parents with young children and older single women across 20 self-contained units, a combination of one and two-bedrooms.

‘Apmere Urtle is a safe place of protection … it’s a metaphor for the birds who look after their young ones inside the house’, said Therese Alice of Akeyulerre Healing Centre who welcomed residents, family, staff and guests on the day.

With all units now allocated and expected to be fully occupied by early December, the program aims to reduce homelessness and build the capacity of participants by providing housing over 12-24 months in a supportive community environment.

CHCA and support workers based on-site will use a community development approach, guided by both the residents and the Tangentyere Women and Family Safety Group who provide advice and support during the development of the program to ensure it is culturally appropriate and strength-based.

‘It’s extremely exciting to be part of a pilot program like this in Alice Springs and be working alongside people to achieve housing security and independence out of homelessness and overcrowding,’ said Tully McIntyre, Community and Support Coordinator of Apmere Urlte.

‘Housing security is something a lot of us might take for granted, but the reality for so many families in Central Australia is that it’s a massive barrier for so many people to have a place to call their own. We hope to see more models like this being developed from the ground up, and more urban housing to be built to address the massive gap in affordable social housing for First Nations families’, she said.

The program is due to run until June 2024. You can see more information here.