Western Power is supporting the connection of solar to 145 homes as part of a unique low-cost housing project that aims to provide housing for people who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless.
Founded by architect Michelle Blakeley, My Home is a unique philanthropic initiative using a Public Private Partnership model to bring together local and State Government, churches, private sector, community housing providers and support services providers, to share the responsibility of creating housing for people who are homeless and helping them to re-establish themselves in the community.
With six sites incorporating 145 homes in progress across the Perth metropolitan area, the My Home site in Congdon Street, North Fremantle was the first to be completed and officially opened recently.
The first My Home site in North Fremantle, which is close to public transport, includes 18 one-bedroom homes specifically for homeless women over 55 years. The homes have been constructed and designed based on the Passiv Haus concept using prefabricated timber wall and floor cassettes with high thermal performance and energy efficiencies and include the installation of solar PV panels.
Western Power Chief Executive Officer Sam Barbaro said Western Power was pleased to support such an innovative and very worthwhile community project.
“Western Power is committed to delivery safe and reliable power to the community, and we’re delighted to support the connection of solar panels to homes being created as part of the My Home housing project,” Mr Barbaro said.
“Enabling a renewable and sustainable energy solution in low-cost housing is a tangible way we can help members of our community who are experiencing hardship. My Home in North Fremantle is specifically designed for women over 55 years who are the fastest growing cohort of people experiencing homelessness in WA,” he said.
My Home has brought together a range of organisations to create, build and deliver the homes. Rotary WA has fitted out the houses with furniture and homewares, as well as creating the gardens. St Patrick’s Community Support Centre will manage the completed properties and tenants.
“I feel so proud that My Home has brought so many community organisations together. My Home has been the fulcrum for so much energy and enthusiastic support for housing these women who have been homeless,” Ms Blakeley said.
“Sharing the responsibility of housing the most disadvantaged people in our community is definitely the best way forward,” she said.
“My Home houses demonstrate that high quality construction, thermal comfort, enjoyable living spaces and energy efficiency are achievable in compact, low-cost housing.”
Mr Barbaro said that as our State moved towards a net-zero future, these compact homes have been designed and constructed to be energy-efficient all year round, demonstrating what is achievable in lowcost housing.
“The electricity sector plays a critical role in shaping the future of renewable energy and we’re embracing the transformation of our grid,” he said.
“Working with our community and industry partners, we’ll further enable our community through ongoing initiatives like My Home to achieve their decarbonisation goals.”