Shelter WA congratulates newly elected Labor Government and identifies five ways to address urgent housing need in its first 100 days.
Peak housing and homelessness body Shelter WA welcomes the opportunity to work with the newly elected Labor government on housing and homelessness issues over its next term of government .and has identified five areas of urgent need in the new government’s first hundred days.
Shelter WA CEO Michelle Mackenzie said without a doubt the biggest issue facing WA now and over the next term of government is the social and affordable housing crisis.
The McGowan Government in its previous term delivered a first-class homelessness strategy and investment for new housing first initiatives. And whilst increased investment into social housing as a COVID-19 response was welcome it did not stem the ongoing decline in social housing supply. A commitment to building on homelessness initiatives and accelerating the pace and level of investment into social and affordable housing in partnership with the community housing sector will not only drive jobs and economic growth but ensure that everyone has a place to call home.
“Housing is fundamental to economic growth and opportunity. With over 30,000 people on the social housing waitlist, over 9000 people experiencing homelessness and a chronic shortage of private rentals with thousands of renters facing eviction or rent hikes when the moratorium lifts on March 28, we need critical action now to prevent a new wave of homelessness.”
Shelter WA commissioned polling during the election campaign that found 90% of voters support action on homelessness, social housing and affordable housing initiatives if they created new jobs, stimulated the WA economy, and improved the health and wellbeing of vulnerable West Australians.
“Overwhelmingly this is a key issue in the community, and we look forward to working closely with the Premier and his government to help find solutions that are cost effective and most importantly can be delivered rapidly, at the scale we need and be responsive to market conditions.”
Over the election period, the Unlock Housing coalition of over thirty service providers led by Shelter WA put forward a pragmatic four-year co-investment package to address the housing crisis.
We have identified five key actions we’d like to work with the new Government, our sector and industry on in its first hundred days:
1. Urgently prepare for (and prevent) a new wave of homelessness when the moratorium on evictions and rent hikes ends on March 28, by spot purchasing 2000 dwellings
2. Urgently audit all government owned land and buildings currently owned, leased and identified for sale, to identify assets suitable for developing affordable rental and social housing
3. Commit funding to explore fast, innovative and affordable ways to deliver new affordable rentals and social housing including the use of modular homes on underutilised government land
4. Commit funding to explore the conversion of vacant commercial buildings into homes; and
5. Set a timeline to reform the Residential Tenancies Act to provide certainty for WA renters
“The Premier has secured a resounding election victory, much in response to the decisive action and strong leadership shown in a crisis. We need the same leadership when it comes to tackling the housing crisis and ending homelessness over his next term and look forward to working together to secure this legacy.”
· Over 9,000 people experience homelessness every day in WA
· Over 30,000 people (15,700 applicants) are on the wait list for social housing
· There is a shortfall of 39,200 social and 19,300 affordable homes across WA
Chantal Caruso | 0447 201 377 / (08) 9325 6660 | firstname.lastname@example.org