NEWSLETTER | JUNE 2023
Since our last Newsletter many exciting projects are underway. A total of 537 houses in 25 Housing for Health projects have been surveyed and fixed, with over 170 Indigenous staff employed on the projects.
In Brownsville, USA another round of 275 apartments are being surveyed and fixed by three different funding bodies, including the largest private Health Insurance company in the US.
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Below is a snapshot of what HH has been up to and project updates…
HfH Brownsville, USA
The Brownsville Partnership has launched a new round of their Housing for Health project in 275 apartments in Brownsville. Brooklyn, NYC.Read more about the project details, collaborators and the project aspirations of the work influencing health discussions in the US.
Read more in the HH News Item.
Nepal visit shows Maintenance is needed!
Ongoing maintenance throughout the life of all projects is essential to ensure they continue to work.
The Nepal Toilet Design Guide published by HH in December 2022 is raising a maintenance fund to do just this. 100% of book sales go directly to funding a 5-year maintenance fund of $18,500 AUD to support existing Sanitation projects in Nepal.
Using funds raised from sales to date, in February HH completed a survey + fix of one of its original toilet systems at Thangpal Dhap Secondary School, including the upgrade of the soakage system for the girls toilets.
Read more, buy the book now or donate towards the maintenance fund via the HH website.
Local Team Features’
Kieran | UPK EHW, APY lands, Nganampa Health | Reflects on being a newly trained team leader
“I enjoyed the team leader training in Alice Springs. It was great to work together to learn new skills and meet new people who also do environmental health work in communities, including people from NT health. It was good to learn skills I have never used before like checking the electrics and drainage in a house to make sure they are working.
Being a team leader is challenging and a big responsibility, but it is really good to work with community members. My favourite part is working with team members to teach them how to fill out the survey sheets to do the house checks. On the projects where I am team leader, I mainly speak to my team and house tenants in language rather than English. It is good to have the language to be able to talk to the community to explain the work and project.
The program is a good project to have in communities, so people can have good working houses. Back on the APY lands, we now have some equipment to start carrying out smaller house surveys on houses and then we will give the information to SA housing.”
Charlie & Caitlin | UoN Architecture students reflect on HfH elective involvement
We are running Team Leader Training this month in Fremantle WA. The newly trained team leaders will go to projects in remote WA & NT. This continues to increase HH’s capacity for projects to be delivered nationally and improves links between housing and health organisations.
We are pleased to welcome a newly accredited Project Manager to the HH team – Bobbie Bayley.
Bobbie Bayley is a Building Designer at Dogspike Design and The Grand Section, based in Alice Springs, NT. Her experience is broad across building and design, construction and Australian-centric Architectural research. She has worked on Housing for Health projects in SA, NSW, NT and Sanitation Projects in Nepal.
Healthabitat speaks at Remote Housing and Homelands conference
Housing for Health (HfH) Projects
Read more about a recent project highlight showing the difficulty of retrofitting accessible bathrooms, here.
Over the past 6 months, 15 HfH NSW projects in partnership with NSW Health are underway with survey fix completed in 351 houses. NSW Health continues to enhance these projects with their value adding programs such as Well Persons Health Check, ‘Mr Germ’ hygiene education in schools and Animal Health programs.
Read more about the work of NSW Health, here
This year 9 NT HfH projects are either in progress or recently completed, 8 in partnership with the NT government’s Healthy Homes Program and one with The Fred Hollows Foundation on behalf of a generous donor and supported by Nganampa Health Council.
So far, 401 of 487 houses have been surveyed, with fix-work ongoing. Two projects have recently been completed providing the NT Government with an invaluable independent assessment (& fix) of the state of their remote housing program. We look forward to continuing this relationship with the NT, with the aim of both promoting and supporting improvements made by the current housing program, along with providing suggestions learnt from the survey data for enhancing and improving its preventative maintenance program.
Western Australia (WA) Projects
There are 3 projects underway in WA in partnership with Jamukurnu- Yapalikurnu Aboriginal Corporation (JYAC) and The Fulcrum Agency. So far 32 of 57 houses have been surveyed and fixed, with the next round of houses scheduled for late June. The project is part of a larger housing upgrades initiative called ‘Ngurra Palyamaniny’ (fixing up homes). It is great to be working with Fulcrum, JYAC and these 3 communities in this remote area of Australia.
Hot House’ University stream final presentations
We are working with Dr Jasper Ludewig to deliver a semester-long stream in the Master of Architecture program at the University of Newcastle (UoN), NSW. Writing about Central Australia, medical professionals and researchers frequently refer to the “critical levels” of excessive heat, poor housing and energy insecurity as key factors in an imminent health “catastrophe” that threatens to displace Indigenous people from Country as climate refugees.
Read more about the stream on the HH website. Stay tuned for more news on their final submissions.