Francis Logan

Francis Logan

Minister for Energy; Resources; Industry and Enterprise

    New affordable housing initiatives

    27/10/2005 12:00 AM

    The Gallop Government is stepping up its drive to bring affordable housing within the grasp of low-income households around the State.

    Opening the fourth National Housing Conference in Perth today, Housing and Works Minister Francis Logan outlined a package of initiatives that aim to bring home ownership within the realm of more Western Australians.

    Mr Logan told more than 800 conference delegates that the State Government would soon be piloting a $50million shared home ownership scheme, to be financed through the Keystart home loan program.

    “Initially, the pilot will help 200 low-income households to purchase a home with the support of shared equity assistance and a low-deposit home loan,” he said.

    “Under the scheme, households need only borrow 70 per cent of the value of a home. The remaining 30 per cent equity will be held by Keystart.

    “I hope to announce further details of the scheme in the next few months.”

    The Minister said that Keystart had advanced $5.2billion in home loans to 57,500 low-to-moderate income families and households since its inception in 1989.

    Last year Keystart posted a record value of $784million in loans.

    Mr Logan also said the State Government was investigating the establishment of a not-for-profit housing company.

    “Many States have already established not-for-profit housing companies in order to access Commonwealth taxation benefits not available to State housing authorities,” he said.

    “The major benefit of not-for-profit housing companies is that input tax credits, or GST, on construction costs and outgoings can be recouped.

    “In addition, the company’s tenants effectively become private renters and are therefore entitled to claim Commonwealth Rent Assistance.”

    The Minister told delegates that Landstart, the Department of Housing and Works’ land and property arm, was already contributing to the affordable housing push.

    It developed and sold a record 2,834 residential lots in the past year, including 365 lots that were sold for less than $112,000.

    Mr Logan said Landstart was now working with private-sector joint-venture partners on a number of affordability concepts.

    “These include offering different lot sizes and different frontages in close co-operation with the cottage building industry to develop suitable models,” he said.

    The Minister said Landstart was planning a number of major projects in joint ventures with the industry, which would offer an ideal opportunity to test these affordability concepts.

    “These projects include the development of about 2,800 lots at Banksia Grove in Perth’s north-west corridor and 2,500 lots at Brookdale in the south-eastern corridor. Both of these projects are in final approval phase,” he said.

    “At Banksia Grove, we will fund the construction of two innovative small-lot designs to demonstrate quality, value-for-money home design and test market interest.

    “In Perth’s south-west corridor, we will soon be advertising for public interest in the Golden Bay development, and planning work is proceeding on Albion Town and Amarillo.

    “Amarillo is particularly exciting; a massive 4,000ha land holding between Rockingham and Mandurah which will eventually have a population of around 60,000.”

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