WA Government can address budget repair through housing opportunity

Shelter WA welcomes the WA Government’s acknowledgment, that housing affordability continues to be a key issue in Western Australia, as outlined in the 2017/2018 State Budget.

The Budget papers acknowledge: “Affordable housing is still out of reach for many Western Australians on low incomes. The gap between what people can afford and what it costs means that there is ongoing demand and need for assistance across the housing continuum.”[i]

Shelter WA’ spokesman Stephen Hall said housing is a critical foundation for all Western Australians to thrive.  We need to put people’s housing needs first; housing is a major asset that is under-utilised in addressing  other key government cost pressures, such as health and corrections..

“We welcome the WA Government’s Budget commitment to Metronet, as it will provide the opportunity for government to respond to social and affordable housing needs in the metropolitan area,” Mr Hall said

“Through land acquisitions, the setting of targets for social and affordable housing supply will ensure more people will be able to have a home.”

Mr Hall said Shelter WA also welcomed the State Government’s commitment to fund homeless and other support services across the forward estimates.

The negotiation of a new National Housing and Homelessness Agreement is critical, especially as Commonwealth funding is not reflected beyond 2018/19.“Investment in solutions to end homelessness and enable people to maintain and sustain their housing make financial sense” said Mr Hall

Shelter WA welcomes other budget initiatives including the family and domestic violence package and the reinstatement of funding for financial counselling services.

“Shelter WA understands Western Australia is transitioning from a period of historic growth and expansion, to a period of moderate growth, but people still need homes.”

[i] The Budget Papers Volume 1, Budget Paper number 2. PP238

Media Contact – Mobile – Stephen Hall, Shelter WA, 0408 426 263

September, 7 2017