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40 new homes for Aboriginal Elders

A new housing development for Aboriginal Elders at risk of homelessness will deliver 40 new homes in Adelaide, after contracts for the $12.17 million project were signed today.

Jan 30, 2024, updated Jan 30, 2024
Concept image of the Aboriginal Elders Village announced this morning. Photo: supplied

Concept image of the Aboriginal Elders Village announced this morning. Photo: supplied

The development, located in Bedford Park, will have 40 one-bedroom homes to allow for culturally appropriate independent living.

Called Purrkanaitya, which is a Kaurna word meaning “for all Elders”, construction is being funded with $3 million from Housing Australia, an Indigenous Land and Sea Council grant of $5 million, and the donation of the land valued at $5.6 million.

The South Australian government has also granted $4 million via the South Australian Housing Trust to the project.

South Australia is one of the states with the highest rates of homelessness in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with 327 out of every 10,000 experiencing homelessness according to the 2021 census.

Though they make up less than 4 per cent of the Australian population, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are overrepresented in the homeless population, making up 20 per cent of Australia’s homeless population at the last census.

Concept image of the $12.17 million project. Photo: supplied

The village will be owned by Kaurna Yerta Aboriginal Corporation (KYAC) and managed by Aboriginal Community Housing Ltd, who will oversee construction and tenancy management.

Adjoining the Living Kaurna Cultural Centre, the village is near Warriparinga, a traditional ceremonial meeting place for Kaurna people.

KYAC chair Tim Agius said the corporation was “proud to be involved” in the development that would be “culturally appropriate and close to an important Dreaming story”.

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“Our Elders have needed a place like this for a long time: their needs can’t be met at a typical aged-care facility, and this village starts to fill the gap,” Agius said.

Tenants will be aged 50 and over and will include people at risk of homelessness and those already living in social housing.

Housing SA homes currently housing those who will move to the village will be offered to Aboriginal clients seeking public housing.

State Minister for Human Services Nat Cook welcomed the announcement.

“Elders can live on country in secure and safe housing, on the Adelaide Plains where Kaurna people have gathered for thousands of years,” Cook said.

Construction is expected to begin in August this year with tenants to move in sometime in 2026.

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