Lack of housing looms large

Bethany Illawong residents Robert Nylander,Sue Horner,Steve Travis and Helen Pendlebury.
Bethany Illawong residents Robert Nylander,Sue Horner,Steve Travis and Helen Pendlebury.

A Housing Affordability and Diversity Strategy, presented to council last Thursday, found Cockburn’s current percentage of large detached dwellings would not provide adequate choices for future households.

‘The growing trend is a decrease in household sizes. The household projections and housing stock assessment indicate a mismatch of housing throughout the City that is likely to become more pronounced into the future,’ the report says.

The report found demand for aged care facilities would likely outstrip supply with the number of residents over the age of 70 set to almost double to 12,485 in 2031.

Mike Brown, general manager for aged care services, Bethanie Housing, said people were looking to downsize as they get older.

‘Most elderly do at some stage start to feel the family home is too big and difficult to maintain,’ he said.

‘Everyone wants to live independently as long as possible. There is a shortage of suitable accommodation in good localities and we look to local governments to help address this issue.’

Attempts to rectify the shortage will be challenging with facilities traditionally located on sites up to eight hectares in size, although Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett said the City was fortunate in that it has a number of greenfield sites it could develop.Mr Howlett said the City was looking at a range of options to address housing for it ageing population.

‘We want to give people the opportunity to grow old in a place where they have lived most of their life,’ he said.

‘It’s about allowing them to be close to their family and the services they need like shops and doctors.’

A lack of crisis accommodation was also highlighted in the 66-page report.

Anglicare currently provide the only crisis accommodation in Cockburn. The Spearwood-based service assists 15-20 year old young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Executive general manager of operations, Mark Glasson, said more services are required.

‘There is a lack of crisis accommodation placement and a lack of exit options for those occupying crisis accommodation services,’ he said.