Room to Breathe upgrades help with care of child


Overcrowded conditions have hindered eight-year-old Ernest’s health, as he battles a debilitating medical illness.

But his mother Ernestine says he is much happier and healthier now that they have returned to their home, which has been upgraded under the Room to Breathe program, as part of the $1.1 billion remote housing investment package: Our Community. Our Future. Our Home.

Ernestine, and her partner Charlie, are the first tenants in Santa Teresa to benefit from the Room to Breathe program.

They say the additional living spaces added to their home will help with the care of their youngest son Ernest.

The program is designed to help ease the pressure of overcrowding in existing homes through the construction of additional living spaces such as bedrooms, granny flats and bathrooms.

Charlie and Ernestine had three new rooms as well as a second shower and toilet added as part of the program and were able to return to their upgraded home late last month.

The priority was Ernest. The department worked with an occupational therapist to ensure the upgrades suited all his needs.

Charlie said the upgrades meant his home was more comfortable for his family.

“It’s easy for us to move around now, there’s more space,” he said.

“There’s another three rooms and the place looks bigger.

“We’ve got two toilets and two showers now, we’re really happy about that,” Charlie said.

Contractor Ingkerreke Commercial are contracted to undertake work on 19 homes in Santa Teresa as part of the Room to Breathe program. Additional homes will be added to the program to create a pipeline of work for the 31 homes programmed for the community.

Charlie was pleased with the assistance received from the Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development and Ingkerreke Commercial.

“They have done a good job … I love what they’ve done and we really appreciate it.”

Find out more about the Room to Breathe program.

Charlie, Ernestine and their son Ernest in front of their new house.
Charlie, Ernestine and their son Ernest in front of their new house.

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