Francis Logan

Francis Logan

Minister for Energy; Resources; Industry and Enterprise

    WA affordable housing initiatives under way

    5/08/2005 12:00 AM

    The State Government is developing new ways to deliver low-cost land and housing, including shared equity home loan products and innovative house and land packages, as the first steps towards providing more affordable housing for lower income earners.

    Housing and Works Minister Francis Logan said the Gallop Government’s affordable housing initiatives aimed to help groups in need, particularly the 40 per cent of Western Australians in the bottom income brackets - households with incomes of about $40,000 or less.

    Mr Logan said about 70,000 low-income WA households paid more than 30 per cent of their income on accommodation costs and were increasingly in need of assistance.

    The Minister was speaking from Melbourne, where he attended a joint meeting on affordable housing with Housing, Planning and Local Government Ministers from around the country. The meeting supported the implementation of a national affordable housing policy framework over the next three years.

    “Although WA is fortunate to have some of the best value housing in the nation, access to this housing is becoming more difficult for those on low and modest incomes,” Mr Logan said.

    “That is why we are working to offer more housing options to those people who are finding their housing costs an increasing burden.”

    The Minister said the Department of Housing and Works (DHW) and the Department for Planning and Infrastructure would work with allied agencies to expand the range of affordable products and services available to Western Australians.

    They would also review planning mechanisms to allow more affordable housing to be made available.

    DHW is proposing to create and market 455 lots around the State for less than $112,000 (including a number priced below $90,000) as just one of several other initiatives in the pipeline. This is expected to allow a land and house package to be put together for about $180,000-$200,000. The exact locations of these lots are still being formalised.

    However, 63 per cent of lots at a recent joint venture release in Wellard sold for under $112,000. Similarly priced lots are also available at Woodrise in Albany, Seacrest in Geraldton and Ellenbrook.

    The department will also fund the construction of two innovative small-lot designs in its Banksia Grove joint venture to demonstrate quality, value-for-money home design and test market interest.

    Mr Logan said the State Government-backed Keystart Home loans were also developing a range of shared equity products to supplement the home loan products range now available for people with disabilities, public housing tenants and indigenous buyers.

    “Historical factors such as low interest rates have driven up prices of established and new homes and land to the extent that the market is no longer able to cater to specific groups in need,” he said.

    “These groups include low income earners, indigenous people, people with disabilities, seniors and the young.

    “Housing affordability is a national issue and WA is working with Federal and other State Governments to create a framework for resolving affordability issues with sustainable solutions.”

    Mr Logan’s comments come ahead of the release of the draft document, Housing Strategy WA, which will guide the State Government’s response to affordability, sustainability and equity across the housing sector.

    The document, which is expected to be released within a month, has been developed through consultation with the building industry and social housing sector. A full consultation with the community will take place later this year.

    Minister's office: 9222 8950