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First Habitat Houses In Australia Built By Inmates

This three-bedroom house is the first to be completed by inmates from Junee Correctional Centre since the centre began collaborating with Habitat two years ago.

A single mother with two children are expected to move into the first house in New South Wales in mid-January

SYDNEY, 11 January 2013: Not many people could say that their house was built by prison inmates. Come mid-January, an Australian mother and her two sons will be able to make the claim when they move into their new house in the Riverina region, New South Wales state.

Habitat for Humanity Australia’s affiliate in New South Wales marked the completion of two houses built by prison inmates recently. Their collaboration with Junee Correctional Centre in Riverina began two years ago.

Construction started in October 2011 and an average of 12 inmates worked on the house. The inmates are studying for their certificate in construction skills with state-funded provider, Riverina TAFE.

In an interview with local media ABC News, the centre’s Offender Services Manager Trevor Coles said the inmates’ attitudes changed while building the three-bedroom houses.

“It’s not just about repaying their debt to society, they can do something extra by building this house,” said Coles. Upon their release from prison, the inmates will not only be technically skilled but also gain a work ethic. “So they’ll get the skills to get a job and to keep the job as well.”

HFH Australia is not the first Habitat program to have houses built by inmates. In September 2011, HFH New Zealand dedicated its first house constructed in a prison. The Hungahunga family moved into their Habitat house in time for Christmas. Read the story.

Habitat for Humanity began working in Australia in 1998. It builds decent homes with low-income families in five states and has helped more than 100 families achieve the Australian dream of home ownership. HFH Australia also supports Habitat projects in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal and Vietnam. For more information, please visit HFH Australia’s website at habitat.org.au or follow its Facebook updates at https://www.facebook.com/HabitatForHumanityAustralia