Housing decision ‘most critical’

Mayor Simon Withers said the Housing Options Scheme Amendment had been four years in the making and would now be open to a consultation period of 42 days.

The council was inundated with questions from the community on the scheme, with many asked by residents during question time at last Tuesday’s council meeting.

Denis Wills said the amendment was the most critical decision that council would make during its term and would irrevocably change the character and amenity of City Beach and Floreat.

Mr Wills also raised concerns over council’s change in terminology from maisonette to manor house, which he said could cause confusion.

Mr Withers said despite residents’ concerns, the new housing types would probably not lend themselves to social housing.

‘The block is probably about $1 million and the house would be about $1 million; it’s not going to be public housing,’ he said.

‘We have an ageing population, more old people, couples and singles living in dwellings.

‘They don’t want to maintain a large house and garden. This project is in response to those trends.’

Mr Withers said while there would be extensive community consultation, there would not be a referendum on the amendment.

‘This is not a commune,’ he said.

‘On a personal note, I and my family are quite happy about it. I live in City Beach so I’m right in the thick of it.’

Four councillors had to leave the chamber to vote on the amendment because they had financial interests in the amendment.