27 September, 2017


Western Australia’s social and affordable housing system is simply not big enough; there are not enough dwellings in the system to cope with demand as evidenced, principally by WA’s substantial housing waitlist. 


“WA needs a concerted effort to grow and develop the social and affordable housing system.  A system that provides an adequate safety net for those who cannot enter the private rental market, who are experiencing homelessness, and for those who need the time and space to get back on their feet,” Shelter spokesperson, Stephen Hall, said 


“The recent State Budget revealed there was no money set aside for Community housing organisations to grow the sector.  The problem we are dealing with is structural not cyclical.  A clear strategy, outlining investment in community housing, as an important sector to deliver homes for people on low to moderate incomes would be a great start to ending homelessness and addressing costs in other key government cost centres. Community housing organizations have the expertise to address these problems.”


WA needs a comprehensive strategy to address the demand for social and affordable housing options; especially social and affordable dwellings that can be rented by people not in a position to buy a home either on the open market or through schemes like Keystart, Mr Hall said.


“There are also significant budget problems that can be addressed by a better approach to housing.  For example, with the cost of accommodating people with mental illness in Graylands being around $265,000 per annum the Mental Health Commissioner, Mr Tim Marney recently stated 43 percent of mental health patients could be discharged if they had a safe home to go to.


 “Measures noted in the Budget papers, to address affordability reference Commonwealth strategies, such as the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation, to increase private sector investment into social and affordable rental housing.  While Commonwealth initiatives provide an opportunity for the community housing sector, the State Government detailing a Commonwealth response also could be seen as shifting some of the responsibility.”



Fast Facts

  • The average waiting time for social housing is projected at 145 weeks.
  • There are 212 community housing providers in Western Australia.
  • The largest 10 providers control 60 per cent of community housing properties


For more information contact Stephen Hall 9325 6660, 0408 426 263, or email