Michelle Blakeley’s amazing My Home dream, to build 18 homes in Congdon Street, North Fremantle for homeless or at risk of becoming homeless older women, has slowly but surely become a reality and, today, the My Home complex was officially opened by Simone McGurk, Fremantle MLA and the WA Minister for Minister for Training; Water; and Youth and former Minister for Communities.
The scale of Michelle Blakeley’s achievement cannot be overstated. It’s monumental. Her innovative and collaborative social housing concept involving a public, private and community partnership – strongly supported by the Freo community – is now open for business for all to see, proof of concept.
The My Home North Fremantle complex is extremely well-located in an established residential area, close to Port and Leighton beaches, public transport, the Perth-Freo walking and bicycle path, and amenities.
Over the past couple years we have brought you progress reports on the My Home project, as well as a most informative podcast interview with Michelle Blakeley in which she explains how she came to envisage the project and then deal with various challenges in getting it underway.
In October last year the project began to take physical shape when a gigantic crane swung the first structural wall panels of the new homes into place.
Dr Brad Pettitt MLA, in his former capacity as Mayor of Fremantle, was an early and strong supporter of the My Home concept. Here he is with Michelle Blakeley at last year’s important milestone event.
And here is the finished My Home complex today!
My Home North Fremantle was declared open by Minister McGurk and dignitaries including the current Mayor of Fremantle, Hannah Fitzhardinge to great acclaim.
The project would not have come to fruition but for the initiative of the PTA – the Public Transport Authority, in making the site available for redevelopment, and the selfless commitment of a range of private sector organisations – especially Offsite Constructions in prefabricating the homes and Highbury Homes for finishing their building. Other notable contributors to the realisation of the project included Lotterywest and Rotary.
The My Home North Fremantle tenancies will now be managed by St Pat’s Freo, whose CEO Michael Piu was on hand today to receive the keys to the new My Home complex from Michelle Blakeley and Simone McGurk.
Over the next few weeks the first 18 My Home North Freo tenants will move into their new homes.
My Home North Fremantle has proved the concept, but we are pleased to report there are a number of other My Home projects in Michelle Blakeley’s WA My Home pipeline – in Dianella, Mandurah, Mundijong, East Victoria Park and Armadale.
Michelle Blakeley looks to have started an unstoppable movement!
All power to Michelle Blakeley!
* By Michael Barker, Editor, Fremantle Shipping News
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