Shelter WA was in Albany this week to meet with members and local stakeholders involved in housing and ending homelessness.
Advance Housing hosted the local housing and homelessness network at their centrally located student accommodation facility, for a discussion on key issues and initiatives with Shelter WA Regional Engagement Manager Rhiannon Bristow-Stagg and Policy and Projects Officer Dr Johanna Mitchell.
Advance Housing deliver affordable housing solutions and have plans to deliver more high-quality projects in the Great Southern.
Along with Advance Housing CEO John Lysaught and team, Albany Youth Support Association (AYSA), Anglicare, Pivot (who lead the network), City of Albany including Mayor Dennis Wellington, and philanthropic organisation Albany Community Foundation were represented.
Shelter WA was also able to visit AYSA’s Refuge and Youth Centre led by CEO Ian Clarke, with AYSA expanding their reach into the Great Southern, planning for future need as well as immediate, and working on the prospect of bringing the successful Youth Foyer model to Albany.
Rhiannon and Johanna met with City of Albany Manager Arts and Culture Paul Nielsen, Community Development Coordinator Tammy Flett and Manager Planning Services Jan van der Mescht, who are looking at immediate and longer-term initiatives such as incentivising ancillary dwellings and supporting on the ground service providers through funding applications. The City of Albany have been involved in the Shelter WA Local Government Homelessness Knowledge Hub project and are also members of the WA Regional Capitals Alliance, with Shelter WA engaged in their Housing Solutions and Action Plan.
Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Lisa Smith and Great Southern Development Commission CEO Natasha Monks both had first-hand examples of the issues housing availability and affordability are creating to attract and retain qualified workers.
“The level of collaboration in Albany is a considerable community asset, as is the clear pipeline of proposed solutions,” said Rhiannon Bristow-Stagg. “Shelter WA look forward to supporting and assisting where we can realising these goals for the region.”
Housing & Homelessness
Building data and evidence in the housing and homelessness area is a priority for the Great Southern region, as is the need for more transitional and affordable accommodation and access to resources to help those in immediate need, and addressing the rising number of people falling just outside of eligibility for assistance under current thresholds.
The residential vacancy rate was still at a critical 0.5 per cent in Albany as of April 2022 and the social housing wait list at 615 for the Great Southern. Shelter WA will be putting together a regional snapshot to share with key statistics on the region.
The visit was part of Shelter WA’s development of a regional engagement framework, a project funded by Lotterywest. For more information on Shelter WA’s work in the regions visit our regional WA page.