Michelle Roberts

Michelle Roberts

Minister for Housing and Works; Indigenous Affairs; Heritage; Land Information

    Western Australia at the forefront of housing affordability

    27/03/2008 12:00 AM

    The Western Australian State Government is leading the nation when it comes to innovative strategies to increase housing affordability.


    Housing and Works Minister Michelle Roberts today addressed Government colleagues and representatives from the housing and financial industries at the Financial Review Housing Congress in Brisbane.


    “WA is a prosperous State, which is one of the reasons why about 800 people are choosing to make their homes here each week; it is no surprise housing has become less affordable,” Mrs Roberts said.


    In her speech, the Minister outlined the State Government’s groundbreaking strategies to concentrate actions in four key areas:


    ·         providing greater access to home ownership;

    ·         addressing the need for more social housing;

    ·         improving affordability for renters; and

    ·         creating better housing opportunities for indigenous people.


    “Our very own First Start shared equity scheme has been one of Australia’s most successful housing affordability strategies to date,” Mrs Roberts said.


    “A year into its operation, nearly 1,100 First Start loans have been approved or pre-approved for finance, and we are on target to help 3,000 Western Australians buy their first home within the next three years.”


    The Minister told the conference that the State Government had built on its successful joint venture to establish Ellenbrook in the early 90s.


    “Since then, the State Government has successfully set up joint venture developments all over the State, including in Geraldton, Palm Beach, Beeliar, Butler and Albany,” she said.


    “This financial year, the Department of Housing and Works expects to produce 3,000 lots through its joint ventures.


    “That is about 15 per cent of all residential development in the State.”


    Mrs Roberts said the State Government also planned to establish a new city in Perth’s southern corridor.


    “Kerralup is a 4,000ha site that will yield up to 35,000 lots and house up to 90,000 people,” she said.


    The Minister acknowledged that the challenge of meeting the housing needs of remote indigenous communities was enormous, but the State Government was already having some success in Halls Creek.


    “The $45.9million Better Life Project in Halls Creek is already bearing fruit,” she said.


    “Attendance at the local school has increased by 20 per cent and four indigenous people have undertaken apprenticeships.”


    Mrs Roberts said the Housing Congress provided an excellent opportunity for governments and industry to exchange information, and she looked forward to bringing some new ideas back to WA.


    Minister's office - 9213 6600