Financial pressures on property owner to see Shalom House leave West Swan residence

Peter Lyndon-James from Shalom House. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d468014
Peter Lyndon-James from Shalom House. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d468014

CONTROVERSIAL rehabilitation program Shalom House is facing another hurdle after being told it may no longer be able to stay at its West Swan residence that houses 36 recovering addicts.

The program, which has been in a three-year legal battle with the City of Swan over zoning, will now have to find new housing after being told the house will be put up for sale because of growing financial pressures on the owner.

The Park Street property was the first property taken on as part of the program, which claims to be the strictest drug rehabilitation centre in Australia.

Founder and chief executive Peter Lyndon-James said the 36 men now living on the property would be out on the street.

He said he didn’t know where the men would go as the other properties run by the program were all full.

“The issue is that all of our other properties are full and we wouldn’t have a place to move the men into,” he said.

“Finding a suitable property is an extremely long process and it can often take months given the type of properties and the size we need.”

The Shalom House residence in West Swan.

Shalom House currently has 140 residents in its properties for men recovering from addiction.

Mr Lyndon-James said the legal battle with the City over the zoning of the property would now have all been for nothing.

He said Shalom House found itself in the same place as it was in three years ago.

“It’s disappointing not being able to come to some solution to the issues relating to zoning other than court,” he said

“If we had any certainty over the operations in the area, our direction in relation to the property would be clear; we could either sign a long-term lease to carry over to the new owners or we could look at options of purchasing the property.

“Since we are still locked into the ongoing court battle and our council is refusing to even consider working with us to find alternatives other than let the courts decide approach, we are stuck in the same old spot.”

However, City of Swan chief executive Mike Foley said the matter had nothing to do with the legal matters between the City and Shalom House.

“I would like to make it clear that the issue of the property owner selling the house that Shalom House currently occupies is completely separate from the matter between the City and Shalom House,” he said

“While the situation is unfortunate for Shalom House, it is out of the City’s hands. As with any rental property, in any area, there is always a possibility that the owner will sell.

“We hope that the organisation is able to find another property or solution that meets their needs.”

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