State Government cautioned amalgamations must deliver optimal housing outcomes

The State Government announced yesterday that LandCorp and the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) are to be amalgamated. The Department of Communities (Housing) development arm will also be considered for future integration in this amalgamation.

Shelter WA believes the possible inclusion of the Department of Communities (Housing) in this mix should be treated with caution.

“The State government must ensure that any amalgamations must lead to better outcomes for those supported by the agencies, including a greater supply of social and affordable housing," Shelter WA spokesman Stephen Hall said.

“If it can’t guarantee this, I can’t see why the Department’s development functions should be moved."

There are key reasons why the current arrangements could deliver better outcomes than a merger.

“Social and affordable housing is critical community infrastructure, the current arrangement links social and affordable housing and the services that are critical to support people to maintain their housing and improve overall well-being,” Mr Hall said.

In relation to the central part of yesterday’s announcement, Shelter WA also suggests that the current planning approval powers of the MRA must be retained by the new amalgamated LandCorp and MRA entity for it to be effective.

”Having these powers enables reinvigoration of areas in a coordinated way, which leads to better land use outcomes,” Mr Hall said.

“It would also mean the newly merged entity could continue set affordable housing requirements, as the MRA currently can. This is unfortunately something local governments cannot do under current legislation.”

Shelter WA is continuing to engage with State government agencies about this merger, and key projects including MetroNet that will be impacted by this change.

ENDS

Further comment:

Stephen Hall – 0408426263

comms@shelterwa.org.au