Home choice for soldiers

Housing Minister Colin Holt with DHA’s Mark Turtle at the Claremont lot last week. Picture: Jon Bassett
Housing Minister Colin Holt with DHA’s Mark Turtle at the Claremont lot last week. Picture: Jon Bassett

�It will mainly be for army personnel as it�s within their patch, including Irwin, Campbell and Leeuwin barracks,� DHA regional director Mark Turtle said.

Last week, DHA and Housing Minister Colin Holt signed a memorandum of understanding to develop Government-owned land for an undecided mix of military, affordable and social homes on a large Ashton Avenue, Claremont lot vacant for six years, and a block at Morris Roa in Innaloo, starting mid-2016.

Mr Turtle said SAS soldiers� families affected by the proposed redevelopment of Seaward Village at Campbell Barracks could choose to move to the Claremont homes and the homes would be �quite secure�, with security including door and window grilles.

He said the development was not connected to DHA seeking alternatives to housing SAS families during any demolition of the village and was the result of more defence force members in WA.

Mr Turtle defended putting defence personnel with the social housing comprising about 10 per cent of the developments and said soldiers on operations often considered their work to be in defence of those less fortunate at home.

�You�ve got to remember that in the cases of 85 to 95 per cent of social housing you don�t know who they are, and they could already be in this street, but we will be vetting the residents to make sure at this development,� Mr Holt said.

The developments will include private sales and affordable housing below market prices to fulfil the Government�s Affordable Housing Strategy, which has built 19,000 homes of the 20,000 planned by 2020.

Mr Holt said the agreement with DHA showed how partnerships to develop Government land would produce the 1500 affordable homes for which $560 million was invested in May�s Budget for construction in 2015-17.

It has not been decided if the DHA developments in Claremont and Innaloo will go to councils for planning approval and public comment or instead be sent to development assessment panels for determination. �But being good neighbours you can expect we�ll be knocking on doors to tell residents what�s going on here,� DHA senior development manager Cade Taylor said.