WA NFPs to Provide Social Housing
Wednesday, 2nd June 2010 at 12:56 pm
The Barnett Government has announced a new initiative that it says will accelerate the growth of social housing in Western Australia.
The plan is to place as many as 559 new dwellings with Not for Profit community housing providers in the coming half-year.
The WA Government says that consistent with agreements between the State and the Commonwealth, the ownership of a significant proportion of houses being built with economic stimulus funding will be offered to non-government community housing organisations able to demonstrate they can manage and grow large portfolios of rental housing.
WA Housing Minister Bill Marmion says the potential transfer of housing worth $169million to established community housing organisations was essential to help address the shortage of social housing.
Traditionally the Department of Housing has managed the bulk of social housing.
Marmion says that with a growing waitlist of nearly 24,000 applications from people on low incomes and increasing pressure in the real estate market, WA needs to look to innovative solutions for building the stock of homes more rapidly.
He says here are a number of community housing organisations already registered with the Department of Housing and operating in WA and they have financial and other advantages not available to the department.
He says once established, this system will give the participating providers equity with which to leverage capital borrowings for the construction of additional dwellings of their own.
The Minister says the model is already operating successfully in New South Wales and Victoria.
Announcing a Request for Proposals (RFP), inviting qualified community housing organisations to submit proposals, Marmion says the RFP contained comprehensive and stringent requirements.
It’s believed that tender documents were sent to prospective agencies last week and the Government expects up to 15 community service providers to apply for the properties.
Under formal Community Housing Agreements with providers, the State will retain a caveat over titles stipulating that homes can be let only to applicants on the social housing waitlist or from low income categories in the Affordable Housing and Commonwealth Rental Assistance programs.
As well as oversight of the dwelling allocations and lettings, the State will retain a veto over the titles preventing any sale or assignment without the Government’s permission.
He says the key requirement for the transfer of title is that the successful organisation must use the assets to leverage additional housing and retain the housing in perpetuity for community purposes.
Dwellings included in the RFP process will be located in metropolitan Perth, Northam, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Bunbury and Geraldton.
For further information contact the Project Director on 08 9222 4666.