South West MLC Diane Evers has described the McGowan Government’s Social Housing Economic Recovery package as a necessary step for regional public housing and for an increase in jobs creation, but said the measures do not go far enough to address long regional waitlists for accommodation.
The Greens (WA) MP said she welcomed the $80million allocated to targeted maintenance programs for regional social housing properties, but that discussions with regional stakeholders in the public housing sector consolidated her belief that the Government must do more.
In November 2019, Housing Minister Peter Tinley made comments that there would always be more demand for public housing than the supply side could deliver, but Ms Evers said the fact that only 4 per cent of housing in WA is public or social housing highlighted systemic failings.
Ms Evers said examples of housing stress in Augusta-Margaret River and issues with chronic undersupply of accessible housing meant low income earners in the South West Region were suffering.
QUOTES ATTRIBUTED TO DIANE EVERS MLC:
“Homelessness and housing stress in regional Western Australia is a crisis, with the waiting list close to a decade in some places.
“There are much-needed South West organisations such as Just Home Margaret River providing housing advocacy to vulnerable or disadvantaged members of the community, and they need more support.
“63 per cent of renters in Augusta-Margaret River alone cannot afford the median rent without suffering housing stress, with the area also suffering the ninth-highest level of demand in WA for public housing.
“The lack of affordable social housing is also resulting in people having to spend more income on rent, leading to less money being spent in their local communities and putting a dampener on job growth in the regions.
“I refuse to accept that a wealthy society can allow this demand for affordable public housing to go unfulfilled and I call on the McGowan and Federal Governments to do more.
“Lifting people out of housing stress and helping people into homes will pay great dividends for both communities and businesses during post-COVID recovery, as better conditions enable more people to enter the workforce and increase spending in their communities.
“The Greens have a plan for building 500,000 public and community homes across Australia under the ‘A Home for All’ plan.
“With regional WA suffering from among the longest waits for public housing, I believe the community would stand to benefit greatly from this plan.”
GET IN TOUCH:
Hon. Diane Evers
MLC for South West
(08) 9486 8070