Two inmate-built modular homes have hit the road ready to become much-needed housing for a rural Indigenous community.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
Around 30 inmates from the Wellington Correctional Centre spent six months building two modular homes which are now being transported to Cobar for the Aboriginal Housing Office (AHO).
Dean Matthews, who runs Wellington's Modular Housing Unit (MHU), said the inmates were enthusiastic about the project and worked hard on the houses.
"I'm proud of the effort the inmates invested in this project," he said.
"I believe they were so devoted because they understand that these houses are going to families that need them and will appreciate the accommodation."
The two-bedroom homes contain a bathroom, laundry, linen press, hallway, kitchen and living area. They are also fitted out with reverse cycle air conditioning to keep the families living in them comfortable year-round.
The modules were constructed as one unit and were then split into two ready to be loaded onto trucks for transportation.
"It's a really good program and the guys really buy into it," Mr Matthews said.
"Quite often we'd hear them say things like 'we could be living in this' or 'our family could be living in this'. They really took a sense of ownership."
All the work on the homes - bar electrical work - was done by the inmates and was engineer-certified, Corrective Services NSW Acting Commissioner Leon Taylor said.
"This project has shown inmates the process required to finish a modern dwelling and some of them have been able to complete construction certificates along the way for working at heights, waterproofing, scaffolding, and using a forklift," he said.
One inmate who worked on the project said he "learned a lot" through the process. He said it "felt good" knowing a family would be living in the home.
"I'm from out that way - when I get out I want to drive out there and take a look," he said.
AHO Chief Executive, Famey Williams, said that the partnership between CSNSW and AHO has been ongoing for several years.
"Each organisation shares the vision for addressing the housing crisis through faster built and delivered modular homes for Aboriginal people," she said.
"Through the skills training at the Wellington Correctional facility, Aboriginal inmates are empowered to develop life-long portable skills that have positive outcomes for their families and communities."
The inmates will now get started on building two more houses to be delivered to Warren.
"Work has already started over in the engineering shop, the guys over there are currently doing the welding on that, so hopefully over the next week or two we'll have the skin out here and can start getting into it," he said.
"We'll be a lot quicker on this one. Like anything there's a few teething problems when you just start out - the next one will take about 24 or 26 weeks."
Reading this on mobile web? Download our news app. It's faster, easier to read and we'll send you alerts for breaking news as it happens. Download in the Apple Store or Google Play.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.