The Alternative Resource Community Housing (ARCH) housing co-operative is located in Bunbury (approximately two hours south of Perth), and comprises eight co-located homes.
It began in 1992, when a group of people began meeting to discuss their common need for affordable housing with security of tenure and a sense of community. The group successfully applied for Commonwealth funding for land and building, and in 1997 the founding residents moved into their new homes.
ARCH comprises eight purpose-built two-bedroom villas, which are currently occupied mainly by people over 50.
Members describe themselves as a family of like-minded seniors living in a community where everyone looks out for each other. They take great pride in their homes, which are superbly maintained and surrounded by beautifully tended flower and vegetable gardens. The place feels peaceful, orderly and loved.
It’s marvelous to have the opportunity to be secure and have nice people around me.
It’s much easier financially not having to pay an exorbitant rent … in the private rental market.
If I had to live alone in a house in some of the areas where [Housing Authority] homes are, I would feel very vulnerable. The community gives a feeling of safety.