WA unveils bold affordable housing plan

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WESTERN Australia Housing Minister, Peter Tinley, has announced a new social and affordable homes plan to help up to 150,000 households in the coming decade.

The WA Housing Strategy 2020-2030 commits to connecting 150,000 households to a home by the target date of 2030. These goals call for a 6% increase to current social housing figures, adding 2,600 social homes on top of the current 42,932 in WA. To make good on their intentions greater diversity in the rental sector is also needed, with hopes that 130,000 households should have access private rental properties.

“In the past 20 years, WA’s housing market has struggled more and more to meet the needs of people on low-to-moderate incomes and those with specific housing needs.” Tinley said.

The strategy is also setting out to build communities that improve social and economic participation, create jobs and improve outcomes by further integrating housing and service assistance.

“The WA Housing Strategy 2020-2030 is not just about building houses. It is about providing the right information, education and support to help people access and sustain a suitable and affordable home that meets their needs,” he said, adding the “government has responded with unprecedented investment in WA’s social and affordable housing and has also provided much-needed support for our residential construction sector.”

The strategy and ensuing policy development were formed through consultations with over 600 people and 200 organisations, including people with experience of housing insecurity and stakeholders from the private and community sectors.

Three plans are being developed to help implement the changes needed to complete the outlined goals:

  • The Affordable Housing Implementation Plan, which will set the agenda and clarify roles and responsibilities, is due for completion before the end of the year.
  • The Social Housing Framework, to determine how best to create a social housing system that can respond to current and changing housing needs, is intended to be launched in mid-2021.
  • The Regional and Remote Housing implementation plan, that will assess the unique needs of each region, is set to be launched in late 2021.

The state government has also announced “$834.6 million across three programs; the Social and Affordable Housing and Jobs Package, the Housing and Homelessness Investment Package, and the Social Housing Economic Recovery Package.”

“The WA Housing Strategy 2020-2030 is a call to action for all sectors to work together to improve housing choices and pathways,”

The new strategy should build off the Affordable Housing Strategy 2010-2020 and the Affordable Housing Action Plan 2017-2020, which exceeded its goal of creating 35,000 housing opportunities by over 1,500 throughout the decade.

“These programs combined are expected to support 4,300 jobs and potentially generate almost $1.8 billion in economic activity.” Tinley concluded.

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