Member Profile: MRAC

Murchison Regional Aboriginal Corporation (MRAC) is a not-for-profit dedicated Aboriginal community housing organisation. 

MRAC offers long term housing across the Mid-West and Gascoyne Regions of our state since 1986. 

Based in Geraldton, the organisation is self-funded through rental incomes. 

More than 1,500 people either as tenants, residents or applicants are served by the MRAC. 

Policies covering access and tenancy management operate within the constraints of its financial imperatives, including the need to remain viable. 

Rental charges are based on either a discounted market or cost rent. In the last year, most rents have reduced either through ongoing rent reductions or as lump sum contributions to a tenant’s account. 

On the homelessness continuum, MRAC operates at the preventative end.

Whilst policies require all applicants to be able to live independently, those with some level of complex needs will be housed providing a documented support plan is in place.

One of the strengths of a dedicated Aboriginal housing organisation is the role extended family and community can play in supporting tenants and applicants maintain their housing.

Tenancy arrears do occur and MRAC uses payment plans and court suspension orders to provide tenants with the opportunity to address their arrears and avoid eviction.

MRAC is aware of the problems with eviction.

The process disrupts the family unit, with the most impact on children’s education, health and financial outcomes.

After being evicted tenants may decide to move in with extended family, putting pressure on that household, which can lead to further evictions.

Constant monitoring of tenancy compliance ensures tenants maintain their houses and tenancy.

There is little point in letting tenants build up a tenancy debt and expect them to pay it all from the next Centrelink payment.

The organisations vision is to be an outstanding Aboriginal Housing Corporation.

MRAC’s goals are embedded in the key areas of financial security; growing and improving the property portfolio; housing and service delivery that reflects industry standards in quality and affordability; and MRAC’s brand being recognised as a quality Aboriginal housing provider.

MRAC is Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations registered and operates under the Corporations Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (CATSI Act).

The board is made of eight Member Directors from across the regions it operates in with two additional independent Directors.

Service delivery staff are Aboriginal, all of whom have strong family and cultural links to the area.

Being a member of Shelter WA allows MRAC to participate in the State and National debate and keep up to date with contemporary issues impacting on the social and affordable housing sector. - Mary Marshall, CEO, MRAC.

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