Housing reveal just tip of the iceberg

David SalvaireSound Telegraph
Housing Minister Peter Tinley with City of Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels and Access Housing chief executive Garry Ellender at Haven Park.
Camera IconHousing Minister Peter Tinley with City of Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels and Access Housing chief executive Garry Ellender at Haven Park. Credit: David Salvaire

Rockingham’s new $9.3 million affordable housing development was unveiled last week, with advocacy group Shelter WA welcoming the move amid concerns it only “scratches the surface” of need across WA.

Nestled in the heart of Rockingham on the corner of Market and McNichol Street, the development has 32 properties across two complexes including four townhouses.

The Haven Park development aims to deliver much-needed affordable accommodation for small families, couples and seniors on the social housing waitlist, as well as apartments for sale on the open market.

The project was delivered through community housing group Access Housing, with the properties ranging between $320,000 and $380,000.

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A snapshot of the social housing waitlist in December, provided by Shelter WA, revealed more than 18,000 applicants were waiting for allocation, with about 2500 on a priority list.

But Shelter WA spokesman Stephen Hall said there were many more people in need of affordable housing.

“You’ve got to meet certain criteria to get on those lists and that’s income based as well as a whole lot of other need measures,” he said.

“The reality is that those waiting lists are just the tip of the iceberg.

“We’re very keen to see this Government’s overall policy strategy on affordable housing and what its policy on social housing is as well.”

The previous State Government set a target of 30,000 affordable housing properties by 2020, which Minister for Housing Peter Tinley said would be increased under the McGowan Government by the end of the year. With about 26,400 properties already delivered, Mr Tinley said it was time for a more ambitious target.

“We’re nearly there but I think it’s time to set a new target to ensure that we’re continually pushing ourselves as a total housing sector ... to deliver the sort of outcomes the community expects,” he said.

The Haven Park properties will be assigned to the waiting list applicants with no considerations given to those already residing in Rockingham.

“The list is the list, those sitting out there with an application will be serviced,” Mr Tinley said.

“Those people who put the applications in want to live in this district, so you’re going to get willing participants in the community of Rockingham.”

The City of Rockingham is emerging as an affordable housing hotspot with Access Housing expected to deliver 51 more properties in Baldivis later this year.

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