Shelter WA State Budget Media Statement

Shelter WA welcomes the State’s Social and Affordable Housing Package, but the reality is that it does not go far enough to provide the housing required for people who are experiencing homelessness or in housing stress.

Shelter WA CEO Michelle Mackenzie said the WA State Budget, is a missed opportunity to create jobs through growing social and affordable housing supply.  

“The WA State Government has announced it will invest $184 million towards a $394 million social and affordable housing package,” Ms Mackenzie said.

“However, of the 1390 homes only 320 are social and 400 affordable. We know that the need is much greater.” Ms Mackenzie said.

As part of its 2017 policy platform, WA Labor committed to increase public housing to six per cent of housing in WA. There is an immediate shortfall of 21,000 homes. While Shelter WA understands the need for fiscal discipline, with projected weaker activity in residential construction, the Labor Government has missed an opportunity to meet an election commitment, drive economic activity, and support people in need.

Shelter has concerns about:

  1. Funding certainty for housing in remote Aboriginal communities after 1 July, with the Federal Government failing to make commitments in this area.
  2. The apparent reduction of budgeted expenditure on homelessness services. Shelter WA has requested an urgent briefing on the detail of homelessness and other support service funding.

We welcome the ongoing commitment to the North West Aboriginal Housing Fund and the new crises and transitional accommodation in Collie. Apart from this, there are no new identifiable housing initiatives for regional Western Australia

We welcome the proposed amendment to the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 supporting victims of family violence to resolve tenancy issues, along with amendments to the Residential Parks (Long-stay Tenants) Act 2006 to provide greater certainty and transparency about contracts and costs.

 “Shelter WA is constantly made aware of the impact on housing stress on the lives of people experiencing homelessness and extreme housing stress. It impacts on their health, employment prospects, and their children’s education.”

 “Western Australia urgently requires a long-term vision and strategy to grow affordable and social housing supply.”

“This will take commitment and sustained investment.”

Media Contact: Michelle Mackenzie, CEO: (08) 9325 6660 or 0419 931 819