Pub­lic hous­ing woes dog sub­urb

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS - Joel Kelly

A HIGH con­cen­tra­tion of pub­lic hous­ing in the City of Bel­mont has cre­ated neg­a­tive per­cep­tions of the area for far too long.

This is the mes­sage com­ing from City of Bel­mont ad­min­is­tra­tion, Bel­mont MLA Glenys God­frey and res­i­dents fed-up with liv­ing close to prob­lem­atic pub­lic hous­ing ten­ants.

There are pock­ets of River­vale with pub­lic hous­ing con­cen­tra­tions higher than 50 per cent while a chunk of Red­cliffe has 33.6 per cent.

In Bel­mont, the Hous­ing Au­thor­ity owns a whole street of prop­er­ties for pub­lic hous­ing. The City of Bel­mont has an over­all pub­lic hous­ing con­cen­tra­tion of 8.4 per cent, which is in line with Hous­ing Au­thor­ity’s ob­jec­tive of no higher than one in nine homes al­lo­cated for pub­lic hous­ing.

City of Bel­mont act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Neville Deague said last year the City had been on a 20-year cru­sade to re­duce pub­lic hous­ing in River­vale, Red­cliffe and Bel­mont.

He said con­cen­tra­tions of pub­lic hous­ing were detri­men­tal to the phys­i­cal and emo­tional well-be­ing of ten­ants, re­sult­ing from so­ci­etal stereo­typ­ing and as­so­ci­ated neg­a­tive per­cep­tions.

Ms God­frey, who is also the for­mer mayor, says it is one of her elec­torate’s big­gest chal­lenges.

“Ev­ery week I meet with res­i­dents that have pub­lic hous­ing re­lated is­sues, in­clud­ing a large num­ber of anti-so­cial be­hav­iour com­plaints and main­te­nance con­cerns,” she said.

She said mea­sur­ing pub­lic hous­ing us­ing just per­cent­ages could be mis­lead­ing, cit­ing River­vale’s 546 pub­lic hous­ing prop­er­ties – the se­cond high­est num­ber in the metropoli­tan area af­ter Bent­ley.

“The Hous­ing Au­thor­ity prefers talk­ing about per­cent­ages be­cause when sur­round­ing prop­er­ties sub­di­vide the num­bers make it look like there are less pub­lic hous­ing prop­er­ties when, in fact, noth­ing has changed,” she said.

“This is what is hap­pen­ing with pro-de­vel­op­ment sub­urbs like River­vale.

“River­vale may not have the high­est con­cen­tra­tion of pub­lic hous­ing in the metropoli­tan area, but it does have pock­ets of con­cen­tra­tion higher than 50 per cent within two or three blocks.” HAVE YOUR SAY Add your com­ment at­mu­ni­

Bel­mont MLA Glenys God­frey.

Act­ing Bel­mont CEO Neville Deague.

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