Rockingham, Mandurah councils support efforts to help end homelessness crisis

Tyra PetersSound Telegraph
Homeless in Perth CBD.
Camera IconHomeless in Perth CBD. Credit: Bill Hatto/The West Australian

The City of Rockingham has expressed interest in having a Common Ground facility similar to the one proposed in the City of Mandurah.

This year it was revealed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics there had been a 4.8 per cent increase in the cost of owning a new home and a 9.1 per cent rent increase throughout WA.

The City of Mandurah has supported the development of a Common Ground facility in response to the area’s rising homelessness crisis.

The State Government has said it is still committed to the project despite the East Perth Common Ground development being put on hold until further notice.

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“The Common Ground Mandurah project is in early ‘design development’ phase, so is not yet ready to go to tender. Any learnings from the new tendering process for East Perth will be considered for the Mandurah development,” a spokesperson said.

Mayor Rhys Williams said the city was proud to have fought hard for Common Ground in Mandurah.

The City of Rockingham has now also expressed interest in establishing its own Common Ground facility.

“Common Ground facilities offer a safe, secure, affordable permanent home for people who have experienced chronic homelessness and/or housing insecurity,” mayor Deb Hamblin said.

“The city’s primary role in addressing homelessness comes through the support it provides to the not-for-profit sector, as well as through education and advocacy.”

Anglicare housing coordinator Nick Mathieson said “affordability” and “lack of housing” continued to be a struggle for families seeking stable accommodation.

Anglicare launched its Housing and Stability Project last year to help people with short term accommodation and services.

Mr Mathieson said said it didn’t take long to reveal that the bigger issue at hand was “income not matching the rents that people were asking”.

“It just gets to the point where people can no longer afford that,” he said.

“There may have been a property that was $280-$300 a week that’s now being leased out for $500 a week, which is completely unaffordable.”

Mr Mathieson said that relief grants during the COVID period did have a major impact on housing by stimulating the building sector but leaving some people without a home.

“That’s where the supply and demand part comes in because people that can’t afford these rentals have jumped out and into these rentals and with the lack of rentals they’re at a premium, so people that are low on income can no longer afford these,” he said.

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