A subsidised service to assist WA seniors keep their homes safer and more comfortable will be available from July 1, 2001 under a Coalition Government.
Housing Minister Dr Kim Hames said that under the Ministry of Housing’s new Home Maintenance Inspections and Advice Service, qualified private contractors would provide home maintenance inspections and advice for seniors identifying areas needing repair or modification.
“It is the WA Government’s aim to encourage elderly people to remain in their own homes for as long as they are able, rather than moving into hostel or nursing home facilities,” Dr Hames said.
“However, it is important that seniors be housed in safe, comfortable dwellings. Many seniors in Western Australia live in older homes in need of repair. This new service will identify what repairs or modifications are needed and the resident can then take the necessary steps to improve their property.”
The subsidised service is part of a new package of concessions, unveiled by Premier Richard Court today, which could benefit up to 240,000 seniors in WA.
The $9 million package includes significant rebates on Government charges and local government rates and also includes lower motor vehicle and driver licence fees and an air-conditioning subsidy for regional areas.
The concessions will be available in full or in part to every holder of a WA Senior’s Card.
Dr Hames said the home maintenance service would be available to all senior home owners. Those in receipt of any Centrelink part benefit or pension would pay only 25 per cent of the contract inspection fee, with the balance to be funded by the Ministry.
Tenders for qualified contractors in the Perth metropolitan area, Mandurah/Peel, Bunbury/Capel, Albany, Geraldton and Kalgoorlie, will be called in the New Year. The inspection contract fee will be established in the tender process.
“The Home Maintenance Inspections and Advice Service is a response to the Government’s ‘Time On Our Side - A Five Year Plan for Western Australia’s Maturing Population’ initiative,” Dr Hames said.
In instances where significant work is required, the Ministry provides a commercial loan facility for seniors to fund essential modifications or repairs.
The Home Maintenance Inspections and Advice Service was developed after close consultation with the Office of Seniors’ Interests, Department of Veterans Affairs, Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Office of Housing in Victoria, which runs a similar, highly successful service.
Sandy Gater, Minister’s office, (08) 9424 7450
Bev Wilcox, Ministry of Housing, (08) 9222 4885