‘Wasteful’ use of Dreamhouse

Mayor Heather Henderson with Justin and Kirk, the intellectually disabled adults whose journey into independence was the subject of the documentary The Dreamhouse. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d423857
Mayor Heather Henderson with Justin and Kirk, the intellectually disabled adults whose journey into independence was the subject of the documentary The Dreamhouse. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d423857

The six-part series, narrated by Adam Hills, followed Justin, Kirk and Sarah for 10 weeks when they moved out of home for the first time last year.

At a committee meeting this month, Cr Lynley Hewett said the City of Subiaco should defer negotiating a new lease with affordable housing provider Foundation Housing as its current two-person occupancy was an ‘under use’ of the six-bedroom $1.7 million dollar property.

‘I don’t know if Foundation Housing are the right people to be leasing this to,’ she said.

‘There are other people who can and will deal with intellectually handicapped adults.

‘Whilst I can understand the current feel-good fad for mothering the people in the TV show and showering them with ratepayer funds, that may not be in the best and most effective interest of our obligation (to intellectually disabled people).’

At the council meeting last week, Cr Hewett said she believed Foundation Housing was in breach of its lease and called for the new lease to stipulate it only be used as interim housing.

Community development director Jo Sadler said the City had a current lease and sub-lease agreement with Foundation Housing until May 2015.

‘This (motion) is so that Foundation Housing and the young people there can have some security of tenure,’ Ms Sadler said.

Cr Stephanie Stroud said councillors should not dismiss the wider impact of the TV series.

‘While we may just be talking about two tenants, the impact of The Dreamhouse is much greater than that,’ Cr Stroud said.

Councillors approved the staff recommendation 10-1 to continue negotiations with Foundation Housing and formalise a new lease agreement.