State housing sell-off begins
THE Housing Authority has earmarked 50 of its houses in Rivervale for renovation and sale as part of a three-year program to reduce the number of state housing properties in the City of Belmont.
Housing Minister Brendon Grylls said six of the 50 properties had so far been sold.
“In the longer term, the Housing Authority intends to sell another 100 to 120 of its Rivervale properties,” he said.
He said the Social Housing Investment Package had started in Rivervale to address its high social housing presence, specifically around Wilson Park.
Mr Grylls said the State Government was committed to addressing the appropriate mix of public housing through continued urban renewal in Belmont.
The authority has 1434 state housing properties across the City of Belmont, with seniors occupying 36 per cent of them.
In September 2015, Rivervale had 546 of those properties, making the suburb the second highest in absolute number of state housing stock within the metropolitan region.
He said the authority had identified opportunities to buy replacement public housing within the east metropolitan region to relocate tenants from Rivervale.
“We know that we need a safety net of public housing for the people in the community who need that,” Mr Grylls said.
“But with that safety net comes the obligation of being good tenants, paying rent and looking after the property.”
Belmont MLA Glenys Godfrey presented a grievance to Mr Grylls in Parliament last month to reduce state housing properties in the electorate.
She said it was one of her key 2013 election promises.
“It is encouraging to see that the minister and the authority have finally listened and now have a real plan to start this reduction,” Mrs Godfrey said.
“I am absolutely thrilled to deliver on one of my key election promises.”
Mrs Godfrey said revenue from the sales in Rivervale would be used to buy state housing properties in areas with lower concentration within the South East Metropolitan Region.
Mr Grylls pointed to the recently completed New North program as an inspiration for urban renewal in Belmont.
New North saw 1405 former public housing properties in Balga, Girrawheen, Koondoola and Westminster refurbished and sold over an 18-year period.
Mrs Godfrey said she was supportive of a similar approach in her electorate where many public housing dwellings had outlived their life and de-concentration of public housing was needed.
“There is still a lot of work to be done and we still need defined targets for other areas of high state housing concentration such as Cloverdale and Redcliffe.”
Belmont MLA Glenys Godfrey in front of a state housing property that has been sold.