Fourteen representatives from the community housing sector were invited by the Hon. John Carey MLA, Minister for Housing, to attend the first of a number of roundtables to discuss delivery of social housing in Western Australia.
Department of Communities staff were at the meeting including the Director General, Mike Rowe; the A/DG Housing and Assets, Mark Bryden; and Executive Director Strategy Planning and Policy, Ben Rooke.
Social Housing System
The roundtables are being used as an opportunity to shape the ongoing strategic partnership between the state government and community housing organisations, and are a very positive initiative of the Minister. At this first roundtable Minister Carey acknowledged the vital role the sector plays in WA and reiterated the state government’s commitment to implementing reforms that support providers to contribute to a resilient, diverse and effective social and affordable housing system.
Housing and Assets Division
The Minister outlined some of the substantial reform undertaken to date including the creation of a new Housing and Assets Division within the Department, and the $875 million injection towards social housing in the recent State Budget. He also outlined the work being done to deliver social homes in the current construction market and his focus to ensure vacancies are reduced, the waitlist is better managed, and that vacant land is optimised, work being overseen by the Minister as Chair of a Ministerial Group dedicated to unlocking land and housing supply. Minister Carey signalled his intent to leverage Community Housing Providers (CHP’s) opportunities to drive new supply referencing the social housing investment fund and opportunities to access government land opportunities to drive new supply referencing the social housing investment fund and opportunities for CHPs to access government land.
The DG and A/DG outlined their five core priorities for the Housing and Assets Division moving forward. Further information on this has been sent to members in a Community Housing Bulletin.
Shelter WA looks forward to working with the Department and the sector on a new partnership approach moving forward.