YWCA announces housing boost for women in Bendigo

YWCA is excited to announce we have received Development Consent to build 35 high-quality homes for women and their families in the Bendigo community with our Burnayi Lurnayi project.

Funded by Homes Victoria as part of the $5.3 billion Big Housing Build Regional Round and a grant from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, Burnayi Lurnayi will provide much-needed secure and affordable development for women.

These homes will be allocated to women and their families on the Victorian Housing Register, with half of the properties prioritised for First Nations women.

rendering of Bunayi Lunayi development

The 35 homes will be built in Flora Hill and include 12 one-bedroom apartments, 14 two-bedroom apartments and nine three-bedroom townhouses, with construction expected to start in late 2024. 

YWCA Chief Executive Officer, Michelle Phillips said this project is a significant step forward in delivering housing in regional Victoria.  

“The Burnayi Lurnayi development will provide much-needed safe, secure and affordable homes to local women and their families,” said Phillips.

“By creating these purpose-built homes at affordable rental costs we aim to provide women with a pathway to build a secure and independent future for themselves and their families,” Phillips said.

“We are also working in close partnership with the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation (DJAARA) on the design and plans for this development.”

DJAARA General Manager Cassandra Lewis said the Burnayi Lurnayi project reflects a strong cooperation between YWCA and DJAARA.

“It has been an absolute pleasure to deal with YWCA who have engaged deeply with us and are committed to contributing to DJAARA goals,” Ms Lewis said.

“We are thrilled to be involved with this important development, that will help ease housing pressure for First Nations and non-Indigenous women. So often the breakdown of a relationship or violence within families means women and kids end up on the street: there is an urgent and immediate need for this facility.

“The name Burnayi Lurnayi, which means ‘young women’ was chosen by a wartaka (advisory group) of Dja Dja Wurrung women, who have provided input into the design,” Ms Lewis said.

YWCA already has strong ties to the region, building the Bendigo Affordable Housing Development in 2021, providing five homes at below-market rates for women and their families, many whom have experienced family violence.

YWCA Australia wishes to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we work, live and play and pay our respects to Elders past and present. We recognise First Nations people as the custodians of the lands, seas and skies, with more than 60,000 years of wisdom, connection and relationship in caring for Country.

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