The announcment is expected to deliver 700 new soical housing dwelllings, with no timeline release yet. Image – Canva.
  • $511 million dedicated to social housing in the 2023-24 WA State Budget
  • Funding will help deliver around 700 new social homes
  • No timeline has been announced for the delivery of the new homes

The WA government has dedicated $511 million in the 2023-24 State Budget to boost housing supply as the state’s housing crisis persists.

The funding will help deliver around 700 new social homes and fund refurbishments of the Department of Communities’ ageing housing stock.

Funding will also be allocated to a program designed to supply 100 supported landlord homes in regional WA for those experiencing homelessness.

REIWA CEO Cath Hart welcomes the budget commitment.

“Investment property owners have been exiting the WA market in droves with nearly 20,000 fewer rentals available in WA now than January 2021,” Hart says.

“We know that a shortage of private rentals always puts enormous pressure on social housing, so these budget initiatives are a welcome move.”

Cath Hart, REIWA CEO

Perth is in the midst of a housing crisis with demand far outstripping supply. This has led to record rent and low rental vacancy rates, the latest as low as 0.5%, according to SQM data.

Perth rental vacancy

“About 85% of WA’s rental stock is provided by mum-and-dad investors but their exodus from the market over the past two years has seen our rental vacancy rate fall to a 42-year low,” Hart explains.

“This creates challenges across the entire housing continuum but has a disproportionately larger impact on the most vulnerable in our community.”

“Today’s announcement ticks the box in terms of increasing housing supply and we hope will help put a roof over the heads of the most vulnerable Western Australians.”

WA Premier Mark McGowan says the state’s strong Budget position means it is able to drive major investments in social housing and homelessness measures.

He says the funding will help support the most vulnerable members of our community across the State.

“This additional $511 million investment takes my Government’s total spend on social housing and homelessness measures to $2.6 billion, and will help to improve the quality and accessibility of social housing for thousands of Western Australians in need,”  McGowan says.

ShelterWA is among the advocacy groups to welcome the funding announcement.

Shelter WA CEO Kath Snell says the sector is looking forward to continuing to work with the government to get new social homes on the ground as quickly as possible.

“Investment of this scale provides certainty to our sector and community, and will change lives.”

Shelter WA CEO Kath Snell

The opposition’s housing spokesperson, Steve Martin has criticised the new funding announcement, labeling it as a waste of time.

The new funding has also been criticised for the lack of a clear timeframe attached to the 700 home promise.

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