Hous­ing re­veal just tip of the ice­berg

Southern Telegraph - - Telegraph News - David Sal­vaire

Rock­ing­ham’s new $9.3 mil­lion af­ford­able hous­ing de­vel­op­ment was un­veiled last week, with ad­vo­cacy group Shel­ter WA wel­com­ing the move amid con­cerns it only “scratches the sur­face” of need across WA.

Nestled in the heart of Rock­ing­ham on the cor­ner of Mar­ket and McNi­chol Street, the de­vel­op­ment has 32 prop­er­ties across two com­plexes in­clud­ing four town­houses.

The Haven Park de­vel­op­ment aims to de­liver much-needed af­ford­able ac­com­mo­da­tion for small fam­i­lies, cou­ples and se­niors on the so­cial hous­ing wait­list, as well as apart­ments for sale on the open mar­ket.

The project was de­liv­ered through com­mu­nity hous­ing group Ac­cess Hous­ing, with the prop­er­ties rang­ing be­tween $320,000 and $380,000.

A snap­shot of the so­cial hous­ing wait­list in De­cem­ber, provid- ed by Shel­ter WA, re­vealed more than 18,000 ap­pli­cants were wait­ing for al­lo­ca­tion, with about 2500 on a pri­or­ity list.

But Shel­ter WA spokesman Stephen Hall said there were many more peo­ple in need of af­ford­able hous­ing.

“You’ve got to meet cer­tain cri­te­ria to get on those lists and that’s in­come based as well as a whole lot of other need mea­sures,” he said.

“The re­al­ity is that those wait­ing lists are just the tip of the ice­berg.

“We’re very keen to see this Gov­ern­ment’s over­all pol­icy strat­egy on af­ford­able hous­ing and what its pol­icy on so­cial hous­ing is as well.”

The pre­vi­ous State Gov­ern­ment set a tar­get of 30,000 af­ford­able hous­ing prop­er­ties by 2020, which Min­is­ter for Hous­ing Peter Tin­ley said would be in­creased un­der the McGowan Gov­ern­ment by the end of the year. With about 26,400 proper- ties al­ready de­liv­ered, Mr Tin­ley said it was time for a more am­bi­tious tar­get.

“We’re nearly there but I think it’s time to set a new tar­get to en­sure that we’re con­tin­u­ally push­ing our­selves as a to­tal hous­ing sec­tor . . . to de­liver the sort of out­comes the com­mu­nity ex­pects,” he said.

The Haven Park prop­er­ties will be as­signed to the wait­ing list ap­pli­cants with no con­sid­er­a­tions given to those al­ready re­sid­ing in Rock­ing­ham.

“The list is the list, those sit­ting out there with an ap­pli­ca­tion will be ser­viced,” Mr Tin­ley said.

“Those peo­ple who put the ap­pli­ca­tions in want to live in this dis­trict, so you’re go­ing to get will­ing par­tic­i­pants in the com­mu­nity of Rock­ing­ham.”

The City of Rock­ing­ham is emerg­ing as an af­ford­able hous­ing hotspot with Ac­cess Hous­ing ex­pected to de­liver 51 more prop­er­ties in Bal­divis later this year.

Pic­ture: David Sal­vaire

Photo avail­able at west­pix.com.au Hous­ing Min­is­ter Peter Tin­ley with Ac­cess Hous­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Garry El­len­der and City of Rock­ing­ham Mayor Barry Sam­mels at Haven Park.

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