Home choice for sol­diers

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

SOL­DIERS will be housed among 55 new af­ford­able and so­cial hous­ing homes in Clare­mont and In­naloo in a De­fence Hous­ing Aus­tralia (DHA) agree­ment with the State Govern­ment to be an­nounced this week.

“It will mainly be for army per­son­nel as it’s within their patch, in­clud­ing Irwin, Camp­bell and Leeuwin bar­racks,” DHA re­gional di­rec­tor Mark Turtle said.

Last week, DHA and Hous­ing Min­is­ter Colin Holt signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing to de­velop Govern­ment-owned land for an un­de­cided mix of mil­i­tary, af­ford­able and so­cial homes on a large Ashton Av­enue, Clare­mont lot va­cant for six years, and a block at Mor­ris Roa in In­naloo, start­ing mid-2016.

Mr Turtle said SAS sol­diers’ fam­i­lies af­fected by the pro­posed re­de­vel­op­ment of Seaward Vil­lage at Camp­bell Bar­racks could choose to move to the Clare­mont homes and the homes would be “quite se­cure”, with se­cu­rity in­clud­ing door and win­dow grilles.

He said the de­vel­op­ment was not con­nected to DHA seek­ing al­ter­na­tives to hous­ing SAS fam­i­lies dur­ing any de­mo­li­tion of the vil­lage and was the re­sult of more de­fence force mem­bers in WA.

Mr Turtle de­fended putting de­fence per­son­nel with the so­cial hous­ing com­pris­ing about 10 per cent of the de­vel­op­ments and said sol­diers on op­er­a­tions of­ten con­sid­ered their work to be in de­fence of those less for­tu­nate at home.

“You’ve got to re­mem­ber that in the cases of 85 to 95 per cent of so­cial hous­ing you don’t know who they are, and they could al­ready be in this street, but we will be vet­ting the res­i­dents to make sure at this de­vel­op­ment,” Mr Holt said.

The de­vel­op­ments will in­clude pri­vate sales and af­ford­able hous­ing be­low mar­ket prices to ful­fil the Govern­ment’s Af­ford­able Hous­ing Strat­egy, which has built 19,000 homes of the 20,000 planned by 2020.

Mr Holt said the agree­ment with DHA showed how part­ner­ships to de­velop Govern­ment land would pro­duce the 1500 af­ford­able homes for which $560 mil­lion was in­vested in May’s Bud­get for con­struc­tion in 2015-17.

It has not been de­cided if the DHA de­vel­op­ments in Clare­mont and In­naloo will go to coun­cils for plan­ning ap­proval and pub­lic com­ment or in­stead be sent to de­vel­op­ment as­sess­ment pan­els for de­ter­mi­na­tion. “But be­ing good neigh­bours you can ex­pect we’ll be knock­ing on doors to tell res­i­dents what’s go­ing on here,” DHA se­nior de­vel­op­ment man­ager Cade Tay­lor said.

Pic­ture: Jon Bas­sett

Hous­ing Min­is­ter Colin Holt with DHA’s Mark Turtle at the Clare­mont lot last week.

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