Fact Sheet 83 – Immigration Residential Housing
Immigration residential housing (IRH) provides flexible supported accommodation for persons in immigration detention, including irregular maritime arrivals (IMAs).
IRH is one of several types of available immigration detention facilities. Clients may be placed in IRH subject to their meeting certain eligibility criteria. It provides a less institutional, more domestic detention environment for eligible people in detention who are assessed as being of low flight and security risk.
Participants are provided with housing or family-style accommodation within a community setting, with the opportunity to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle. They are able to undertake trips to town or other locations for recreation and shopping (under supervision of the detention services provider).
Immigration residential housing is currently located in Sydney adjacent to the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre, in Perth near the Perth Immigration Detention Centre and in Port Augusta, South Australia.
Sydney Immigration Residential Housing
The Sydney IRH is located adjacent to the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre. The centre comprises of four single storey dwellings (eight units in total), capable of accommodating different compositions of clients. Each duplex is fully self-contained to enable independent living. The backyards of the houses are integrated as a single large landscaped area.
Perth Immigration Residential Housing
The Perth IRH is located at Redcliffe, less than two kilometres from the Perth Immigration Detention Centre. The accommodation comprises of two single-storey five-bedroom houses, capable of accommodating different client compositions. Each house is fully self-contained to enable independent living. The backyards of the houses are integrated as a single large landscaped area.
Port Augusta Immigration Residential Housing
The Port Augusta IRH, re-opened in 2010, is located in Ellis Close, Port Augusta, South Australia. The accommodation comprises of eight single storey houses capable of accommodating different client compositions. One house is configured to accommodate people with disabilities. Each house is fully self-contained to enable independent living with small outdoor areas adjacent to each house to give some level of privacy without interfering with security.
Clients are eligible for accommodation in immigration residential housing subject to:
- places being available
- satisfactory completion of identity and health checks
- an assessment of whether the person in detention is likely to abscond
- any operational issues particular to the person in detention
- any operational issues particular to the effective management of the IRH.
People in detention are free to associate with each other within the IRH site. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship often works to facilitate visits with family members of clients in detention facilities. If a visit or external excursion is required for personal or family reasons, the department will consider on a case by case basis.
Members of the public intending to visit people in detention accommodation in IRH must be invited by the person in detention and are strongly advised to contact the relevant IRH at least 24 hours in advance. All visits are conducted during specific visiting times under the supervision of detention services provider staff.
There are organised recreational programs and activities for people in detention. The programs are developed in consultation with people in detention and the detention services provider. The programs include picnics and trips to local shops and other facilities, such as the library, swimming pool and cinema. Trips to the supermarket are organised so participants can purchase groceries and personal items.
Further information is available on the department's website.
The department also operates a national general enquiries line.
Telephone: 131 881
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm. Recorded information is available outside these hours.
Fact Sheet 83. Produced by the National Communications Branch, Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Canberra.
Revised July 2012.
© Commonwealth of Australia 2009.