Shelter WA welcomes the commitment from the Western Australian Government to provide $560 million over two years to develop 1,000 homes for seniors and families with children as part of the Western Australian Budget for 2015/16.
“Women over 55 are the fastest growing cohort at risk of homelessness, some of which are on the priority social housing waiting list and who will be assisted by the social housing boost.” said Chantal Roberts, Executive Officer of Shelter WA. The Social Housing Investment Package, will deliver 600 social housing homes, 200 purchases of existing properties or pre-purchases and 200 existing private rentals for seniors and families with children. With part of the funding for this package sourced through Royalties for Regions, Shelter WA looks forward to the development of additional social housing in regional areas. “Investment in regional housing is essential to accompany the welcomed investment in health, education and community services in regional areas, under Royalties for Regions.” “More and more Western Australians are in housing stress, particularly single people and women and children escaping family and domestic violence. They are fighting the ongoing challenge of housing affordability and accessibility. It is pleasing to see the Government has recognised these challenges and has delivered a number of initiatives to support the most vulnerable in our community, in an increasingly tight fiscal environment.” Shelter WA is pleased the Western Australian Government has retained the FHOG for new properties, stimulating new construction and providing some relief to low to middle income earners, seeking to purchase their first home despite the ongoing housing affordability crisis across Australia. “However, we are concerned about the changes to concessions for seniors and the increased fees and charges for households, which will impact on the already high cost of living in Western Australia”. Shelter WA supports the Western Australian Government decision to match funding provided by the Commonwealth Government under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH), announced earlier this year. The Western Australian Government has committed to $90.6 million for 2015/16 for programs to support homelessness and crisis accommodation, including NPAH. “This budget was delivered at a time of growing economic uncertainty, as proven by the significant decreases in mining royalties and GST revenue, and acknowledges the fundamental role played by the social housing system to support those in need in our community,” said Ms Roberts.