State puts housing on its priority list

A $560 million investment package will comprise $85 million of Department of Housing land, $452 million for housing development and $23 million in operational costs.

Housing Minister Colin Holt said the investment would deliver 1000 extra homes over the next two years.

�This investment is targeted at the most vulnerable people on the priority waitlist for social housing,� he said.

At the end of April, there were 590 applicants on the waitlist for public housing in the South City zone; 82 were priority listed.

Belmont MLA Glenys Godfrey said she would keep a close eye on how this topic progressed and would inform the community about any new developments.

At the end of last month, there were 345 public housing properties in Belmont.

�Overall, I am pleased that extra funding has been allocated to tackle the priority waiting list. What I don�t want to see is the number of social housing properties increasing within the Belmont electorate, simply because we already have an above-average presence,� she said.

�Rivervale, for instance, is a suburb with the second highest number of public housing properties in the metropolitan area. So I would like the Department of Housing to sell some of the valuable land it owns in our area and re-invest that profit in areas with lower density of social housing.�

East Metropolitan Region MLC Samantha Rowe said she received weekly complaints from constituents who had been waiting years for public housing.

�Many individuals and families on fixed incomes cannot afford to buy their own home and cannot afford to rent in the private rental market,� she said.

�They meet the eligibility criteria for public housing and are placed on the list, but are then left waiting for years before a property becomes available.

�Funding for social housing is desperately needed after significant cuts by the Barnett Government in recent years.�

Department of Housing General Manager Service Delivery Greg Cash said the package included funding for new public housing and redevelopment of older housing stock.

He said Belmont was identified as an area that offered redevelopment opportunities.