SHALOM House has purchased a property in Bullsbrook with plans to build a hub for the men’s drug rehabilitation centre, which claims to be the strictest in Australia.
Chief executive Peter Lyndon-James said the organisation was in the process of submitting an application to the City of Swan to develop the land on Great Northern Highway, with plans to build offices and a large auditorium.
“This is a very exciting time for Shalom House,” he said.
“It is the first purchase made on this large a scale and the first time we are looking at going into debt – to date we have been completely debt-free – which is quite amazing considering we are a self-funded, not-for-profit organisation that receives no government funding.
“However if the development application is denied by the City, the sale doesn’t go through and we start from scratch.”
Mr Lyndon-James said demand for the program had increased significantly over the past three weeks.
“We have seen a large increase in phone calls and people seeking help and I expect we will be at capacity by the end of the year,” he said.
“This is consistent with my communication with the Police Commissioner, who has confirmed a noticeable spike on their end of the spectrum.”
Shalom House has 14 properties in the Swan Valley with 140 participants in the rehabilitation program.
The organisation has been locked in a legal battle with the City of Swan since 2015 when the City ordered it shut down one of its properties on Park Street in Henley Brook because it did not meet residential zoning requirements.
The State Administrative Tribunal last month ordered the item go back to council to be reconsidered.
City of Swan acting chief executive Jim Coten said the matter would be considered by council on September 26.
Mr Coten said as of July 2018, the City had spent $185,000 on legal fees related to Shalom House.
“We acknowledge the matter is ongoing and further costs will likely be incurred,” he said.
Mr Lyndon-James, who is also a councillor at the City, said the case has gone on for far too long.
“We are extremely fortunate to have our lawyers represent us pro-bono at no cost to the organisation, but the ratepayers are paying the costs accumulated by the City,” he said.
A WA Police spokesperson said methylamphetamine continued to pose a significant issue to the Western Australian community and police were committed to targeting the supply of this dangerous drug.