Most needy miss out on hous­ing

Pilbara News - - State Election 2017 - Phoebe Wearne

A third of State hous­ing prop­er­ties are not go­ing to those most in need, de­spite big wait­ing lists, ac­cord­ing to a new re­port.

The first of the Pro­duc­tiv­ity Com­mis­sion’s an­nual re­ports on gov­ern­ment ser­vice per­for­mance, re­leased last Tues­day, found just 67.3 per cent of pub­lic prop­er­ties avail­able to new ten­ants in the State in 2015-16 were al­lo­cated to peo­ple in great­est need of ac­com­mo­da­tion.

The fig­ure falls well short of the na­tional average of 75.1 per cent.

Queens­land (96.9 per cent), the Aus­tralian Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory (96.8 per cent) and Tas­ma­nia (91.3 per cent) were the best per­form­ers.

Only NSW (51.7 per cent) and the North­ern Ter­ri­tory (57.3 per cent) came in be­low WA.

The in­de­pen­dent Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment ad­vi­sory body de­fines “great­est need house­holds” as those which, at the time of be­ing al­lo­cated a place to live, are home­less, have un­man­age­ably high ren­tal costs or are liv­ing in hous­ing that ei­ther does not meet their needs, is ad­versely af­fect­ing their health or places their life or safety at risk.

“Pri­or­ity ac­cess to those in great­est need is a proxy in­di­ca­tor of gov­ern­ments’ ob­jec­tive to pro­vide so­cial hous­ing ser­vices in an eq­ui­table man­ner,” the re­port says.

The Pro­duc­tiv­ity Com­mis­sion also noted an in­crease in the num­ber of house­holds liv­ing in com­mu­nity hous­ing.

“Many of the new so­cial hous­ing dwellings are or will be owned or man­aged by com­mu­nity hous­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions,” the re­port says.

A higher pro­por­tion of com­mu­nity hous­ing prop­er­ties went to the most needy West Aus­tralians, at 82.7 per cent, but 83.6 per cent of such al­lo­ca­tions went to those who met the def­i­ni­tion for pri­or­ity ac­cess na­tion­ally.

In terms of house­holds with spe­cial needs, WA ranked worse than any other State.

Less than half of new pub­lic te­nan­cies, which are gen­er­ally ac­cessed by peo­ple on low in­comes or with spe­cial needs, were al­lo­cated to spe­cial needs house­holds, com­pared with 61.5 per cent na­tion­ally.

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