Subsidised rental full

All 48 of the Access Housing-managed apartments in East Perth are rented out or occupied, which Access Housing chief executive Garry Ellender said demonstrated the need for inner-city accommodation at a subsidised rate.

‘We need affordable housing in the inner city. The demand is there,’ Mr Ellender said.

The apartments, completed in July 2013, are priced 20 per cent below market value and cater for low-income city workers. Eligible applicants must work within the inner city for at least 20 hours per week and leases are limited to three years.

City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said the apartments were an example of what could be achieved through collaboration between governments and the community-housing sector.

‘In 2009, the City conducted an affordable housing study and found significant demand for inner-city, affordable rentals for low and moderate income earners,’ Ms Scaffidi said.

‘Providing affordable housing in the inner city where it is close to jobs, education, facilities and services and public transport networks, helps to maximise the use and expenditure on public infrastructure.

‘Provision of affordable housing isn’t a responsibility of local government. However the City has shown that it is possible and can be done.’

REIWA president David Airey said there was a preference by many people to live in the inner city.

‘There is certainly a demand for more affordable accommodation generally but it’s hard for private developers to respond to that in a way that helps people on very modest incomes unless there is also subsidy support from the government,’ Mr Airey said.

‘It’s not too bad in Perth now that rents have eased a little and the vacancy rate for rental accommodation has increased from 3 to 4 per cent. It’s now a third above average and this is favouring tenants,’

Mr Airey said the median rent for a unit in the City of Perth was $570 a week, down 3.5 per cent in the quarter.