The State Government is to build almost 150 new homes this year at a variety of sites throughout Perth in an effort to further promote the concept of inner city housing and help breathe life back into the city.
Premier Carmen Lawrence today announced that the State Government's housing arm, Homeswest, would carry out residential development at sites in West Perth and East Perth at a cost of $13 million - creating an estimated 450 direct and indirect jobs.
Dr Lawrence said the redevelopment would involve the transformation of a former alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre in West Perth into residential housing and the construction of 84 new homes at three sites in East Perth.
Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Housing Minister Brian Howe today accompanied the Premier to the Aston Clinic in West Perth to view the site and Homeswest's plans for its redevelopment.
"It is an exciting project and coupled with the redevelopment plans for East Perth will hopefully act as the catalyst for further inner city housing in Perth," Mr Howe said.
"The Federal Government will contribute $7 million to the projects from housing funding brought forward in this year's Federal Budget."
Dr Lawrence said Homeswest would redevelop the Aston Clinic this financial year into 56 residential units for seniors, singles and families at a cost of $5 million. Seven retail/commercial outlets would also be included.
"In East Perth, an arrangement between Homeswest and the East Perth Redevelopment Authority (EPRA) will provide a major kick-start to the redevelopment of the eastern end of the city," the Premier said.
The homes will be built on three sites - one involving a joint venture with EPRA in Henry Street, one on the corner of Claisebrook Road and Brown Street and another at the corner of Plain and Wittenoom Streets.
The homes would provide innovative housing options for families, seniors and single people.
"Since its inception, EPRA's mission has been the revitalisation of East Perth - which has declined over the years despite its location and proximity to the central business district," Dr Lawrence said.
"The provision of Homeswest and private rental accommodation in both East Perth and West Perth will help achieve a rich cultural and socio-economic mix in Perth.
"Last month, Perth was host to the prestigious City Challenge Conference which further emphasised the need to promote inner city living - the redevelopment of these sites in East Perth and West Perth is a concerted attempt to breathe life back into the city and it is important that that process is accelerated where possible."
Mr Howe said Government at all levels had a duty to promote the merits of inner city living and also provide the lead for private sector redevelopment.
"Inner city living is not just a trendy concept or fad that will soon disappear - it is a planning necessity that has significant implications for all of Australia's cities," he said.