Hous­ing in reach

Canning Gazette - - RESIDENTIA­L -

A $150 mil­lion com­mit­ment from the State Govern­ment to help West Aus­tralians striv­ing for home own­er­ship or a qual­ity home to live in has won in­dus­try sup­port.

The Hous­ing In­vest­ment Pack­age will pro­vide ad­di­tional homes for peo­ple on low in­comes or at risk of home­less­ness while sup­port­ing the WA econ­omy and the hous­ing con­struc­tion in­dus­try.

It will in­clude:

$125 mil­lion for more than 300 new pub­lic hous­ing units tar­get­ing home­less and vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple on the pri­or­ity wait­list;

$6 mil­lion to re­fur­bish 20 re­gional and 50 met­ro­pol­i­tan pub­lic hous­ing prop­er­ties; and

$19.2 mil­lion for 200 ad­di­tional shared eq­uity homes, de­liv­ered in part­ner­ship with Keystart, WA'S low de­posit home own­er­ship scheme.

In ad­di­tion, the tem­po­rary changes to Keystart’s in­come lim­its for bor­row­ers have been ex­tended by six months to June 30, 2020, and the State Govern­ment also ap­proved an ad­di­tional in­crease to its bor­row­ing limit by $437.2 mil­lion, boost­ing its lend­ing ca­pac­ity to $5.3 bil­lion.

Premier Mark Mcgowan said the mea­sures would go a long way to help­ing those in need get into a home, boost­ing the sup­ply of short and long-term hous­ing op­tions for peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enc­ing difficulty get­ting into a home and sup­port­ing peo­ple at risk of home­less­ness through the avail­abil­ity of more so­cial and af­ford­able hous­ing.

"The Hous­ing In­vest­ment Pack­age and the ex­ten­sion to Keystart's in­come el­i­gi­bil­ity changes are all about putting home own­er­ship within the reach of more West Aus­tralians, sup­port­ing some of our most vul­ner­a­ble West Aus­tralians and stim­u­lat­ing the econ­omy," he said.

Mr Mcgowan said the $150 mil­lion boost to the hous­ing con­struc­tion in­dus­try would also help cre­ate 1000 new jobs.

UDIA WA chief ex­ec­u­tive Tanya Stein­beck said it was a fan­tas­tic ini­tia­tive that di­rectly re­sponded to those most in need and pro­vided a much-needed ac­tiv­ity in­jec­tion that would sup­port jobs, train­ing and ap­pren­tice­ships for a more sus­tain­able build­ing in­dus­try mov­ing for­ward.

“The res­i­den­tial prop­erty mar­ket has en­dured tough times in re­cent years and that has had a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on jobs and the broader econ­omy,” she said.

“De­liv­er­ing 300-plus pub­lic hous­ing dwellings as well as 70 re­fur­bish­ments will not only have an im­por­tant im­pact on ad­dress­ing the hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity chal­lenges cur­rently faced by many in low in­come brack­ets, it will also help stim­u­late the con­struc­tion sec­tor.

“The ex­tra in­vest­ment in Keystart, in­clud­ing the 200 ad­di­tional shared eq­uity op­por­tu­ni­ties, as well as ex­tend­ing the re­lax­ation of the in­come cri­te­ria and an ad­di­tional in­crease to Keystart's bor­row­ing limit are very sen­si­ble mea­sures that will all help more peo­ple into their own home.”

Mas­ter Builders WA ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor John

Gelavis said the in­vest­ment in ad­di­tional pub­lic hous­ing and Keystart was a much­needed boost for builders and those des­per­ately try­ing to ac­cess so­cial hous­ing.

“(These) are im­por­tant poli­cies to help builders get through to the end of the build­ing slump,” Mr Gelavis said.

“In­creas­ing Keystart’s bor­row­ing limit cre­ates greater ca­pac­ity for peo­ple to get on the prop­erty lad­der.”

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