Second Common Ground – A Step Forward

Shelter WA congratulates the government for their commitment to help people break the cycle of homelessness, but more needs to be done to end the homelessness crisis in Western Australia.

“Homelessness is pervasive across the metropolitan area and regional Western Australia. This Common Ground will provide good housing options for people who require permanent housing and support in this area creating new diverse housing options for Mandurah” said Michelle Mackenzie, CEO of Shelter WA.

However, we do know that there’s a high level of need across the metropolitan area and regional WA for housing and supports for people who are living on the streets. “Whilst very welcome, construction of the two Common Grounds will take a number of years,” said Ms Mackenzie.

“Solutions are needed today for people who are living on the streets, so that people have access to the services and the pathway to a permanent home right now.”

“Engaging with people with lived experience of homelessness, homelessness services and community housing providers will be critical to the success of this Common Ground and other much needed solutions, to ensure that nobody is living on the street regardless of what suburb or town they call home. Our sector looks forward to working with the government and City of Mandurah on this project, along with the development of other Common Grounds and housing options which are desperately needed to end homelessness.”

“It is great news that the government, and the Premier, wants Western Australia to be a place where everyone has a safe and comfortable place to sleep.

We would urge government to take a bolder step and ensure that everyone has a safe and comfortable, and affordable, place to call home,”

said Ms Mackenzie.

“Fundamental to ending homelessness is housing.

We need increased investment in diverse social and affordable housing options and homelessness services,”

said Ms Mackenzie, “if we are to provide a home for over 9,000 people experiencing homelessness, the 15,000 people on the waitlist for social housing, the women fleeing family and domestic violence, or the thousands of single older women, pensioners, families or young people who cannot find an affordable place to rent. “With a new wave of housing insecurity and homelessness predicted in March 2021 with the lifting of the moratorium on rent increases and evictions, the ending of JobKeeper, and a predicted 20 per increase in rents,

the planning and delivery of new social and housing supply must start today.

We call on the government to commit not only to investment into homelessness services but to creating at least 2,500 new social homes per year over the next four years. “This is the commitment we need, along with much needed housing support options like Common Ground, if we are serious about ending homelessness in WA” said Ms Mackenzie.

 

Fast Facts

  • More than 1,000 people are estimated to sleep rough around Western Australia on any given night, with a further 8000 couch-surfing or living in crowded homes
  • Over 4,100 people access specialist homelessness services every day.
  • Over 15,000 people are on the wait list for social housing, waiting over 2 and a half years to find a home
  • There are no private rentals affordable to people on income support, with rents predicted to increase by 20 per cent in March 2021 creating a new wave of housing insecurity.
  • There is a shortfall of 39,200 social and 19,300 affordable homes across Western Australia to meet current need.

– Ends

For media interviews with Michelle Mackenzie contact Shelter WA via email here. T: 0419 931 819

About – Shelter WA

Shelter WA brings together a strong coalition committed to diverse and affordable housing choice for all, with a particular focus on housing for people on very low to moderate incomes and groups that experience housing insecurity. Shelter WA undertakes research, engagement, policy development and strong advocacy to drive solutions to build an effective housing system and alleviate housing-related poverty. Our vision is that all people living in Western Australia have housing that enables them to thrive.