Housing and Works Minister Michelle Roberts last night marked Homeless Persons Week by launching a publication that explores opportunities for the community housing sector to provide more affordable housing in Western Australia.
Mrs Roberts said the Community Housing Coalition of Western Australia’s (CHCWA) publication, ‘The Affordable Housing Crisis - Where to from here?’ presented a range of views on housing demand and the role of community housing in meeting that demand.
“The Carpenter Government is working to reduce homelessness and improve housing affordability in WA,” she said.
“A common theme in the book, which is embraced by the Carpenter Government, is providing more affordable housing through partnerships with community housing providers.”
WA’s strong economy and population growth is fuelling the demand for housing requiring a co-ordinated response from all spheres of government and the private sector.
The Minister said that the State Government was making a significant investment in the community housing sector to provide more social and affordable housing.
“Through the State Community Housing Investment Program, $210million has been allocated for community housing over a four-year period to 2011-12,” she said.
“We have committed $60million this financial year to the community housing program that will see the procurement of 341 new social housing units.
“It is anticipated that projects developed under this program in 2008-09 will attract private equity contributions to the value of $15million.”
The Department of Housing and Works recently invited community housing organisations to register as growth providers to establish housing providers that could deliver more homes through economies of scale and the capacity to leverage private investment.
“Community housing, supported by government, is well placed to attract private sector investment and deliver even more affordable housing than traditional models of social housing investment,” Mrs Roberts said.
The Minister said that Southern Cross Care (SCC) had been successful as the State’s first registered growth provider.
“A number of potential projects have been identified to be developed in partnership between Southern Cross Care and the State Government,” she said.
“They include the redevelopment of a Southern Cross Care site in Dianella and Embleton with the potential to yield up to 59 units for seniors’ accommodation.
“Other significant projects in the 2008-09 State Community Housing Investment Program are being developed with Foundation and Access Housing with yields of up 94 units in Clarkson, West Perth, Westminster, Ellenbrook, Maddington and Hamilton Hill.”
Mrs Roberts said opportunities will continue for smaller and more specialised community housing providers through a range of initiatives including strategic alliances with growth providers and programs such as the successful Joint Venture Housing Program and Community Housing and Crisis Accommodation Programs.
“The Crisis Accommodation Program and initiatives under the Commonwealth and State Government’s ‘A Place to Call Home’ plan will support women and children escaping domestic violence, people with substance misuse issues and homeless singles or childless couples,” she said.
“Since 2001-02, the State Government has invested more than $50million through the Joint Venture Program to deliver 80 projects resulting in more than 400 housing units.”
“This work will continue in 2008-09 with a further 50 housings units, budgeted to cost $9million, scheduled to commence.
“The State Government is working with the community housing providers to increase affordable housing across the State.”
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