WA spends big on community housing
5 December 2019 at 8:06 am
The state government has announced it will pump over $125 million into social housing
The build of 300 new community housing units will ease homelessness pressures, WA housing advocates say, following a multi-million dollar housing announcement by the state government.
The housing package, announced on Tuesday, includes $125 million for new housing units for people experiencing and at risk of homelessness on housing waitlists, and $6 million to renovate 20 regional and 50 metropolitan public housing properties.
There are currently over 14,000 people on the waitlist for social housing, with an average wait time of two and a half years.
Louise Giolitto, CEO of the Western Australia Council for Social Services (WACOSS), said with housing being the largest cost for WA families, an investment in affordable housing was the best way to tackle homelessness and lift people out of poverty.
She said that while in recent years there had been a focus on affordable homeownership, for those in the community on the lowest incomes, buying their own home was out of reach.
“Today’s announcement by the WA government is an important recognition of the need for more housing that sits outside of private homeownership and market rentals,” she said.
“This investment package is an important first step towards addressing the need for social housing around WA. It is crucial that the state government grows its investment in this space to ensure everyone in WA can have a safe, secure home.”
Shelter WA CEO Michelle Mackenzie also welcomed the deal, describing it as a step in the right direction, and said it was an opportunity for the state government to grow the community housing sector.
“It is an acknowledgment of the critical role of social housing in the housing system and in ending homelessness, and that investment is important not just for individuals and families, but for the broader community and the WA economy,” Mackenzie said.