WA Government announces new Housing Supply Unit to tackle the housing crisis
Housing Supply Unit will provide market-specific economic forecasts, collaborate with industry, and represent WA at a national level. Image: Canva.
  • Unit to boost housing supply, addressing supply and affordability challenges.
  • The new Unit will work with the Department of Communities.
  • It is part of WA's broader commitment to mitigating the housing crisis.

The Cook Government unveiled a new Housing Supply Unit, overseeing the government’s push to boost WA’s housing supply.

The Unit is expected to commence operations from January 2024, and will consult with the residential building industry and property sector to determine the main hurdles to increasing supply.

“The Department of Treasury has significant strength in providing economic and fiscal advice to Government and is ideally placed to provide strategic guidance with significant national investment expected to flow following the passing of the Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF) by the Federal Government,” said WA Deputy Premier, Rita Saffioti.

Working with industry to provide state-specific guidance to the Government

The announcement comes as WA ranks as one of the tightest markets in the country, with listings and rental vacancy rates at record lows.

According to the WA Government’s statement, the Unit’s position within the Treasury will enable it to use the Department’s ability to give the Government budgetary and economic advice specific to WA’s economic market and objectives.

Representing the state’s interest at a national level, the Unit will back the state’s push for its fair share of funding from Commonwealth funds, including the HAFF, the New Home Bonus, the Housing Support Program, and funding through Housing Australia.

Part of WA’s commitment to addressing the housing crisis

The new Unit’s introduction comes alongside various existing Government measures to bump housing supply and affordability, such as:

  • the $80 million Infrastructure Development Fund
  • $55 million strategic investment in water and wastewater infrastructure
  • a transfer duty concession for off-the-plan apartments and apartments under construction.

“Our Government is using every lever we can to accelerate the delivery of housing throughout Western Australia.”

John Carey, Minister for Housing.

“My laser focus is doing everything we can to boost housing supply,” he said.

“The Housing Supply Unit in the Department of Treasury will work with the Department of Communities, Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and DevelopmentWA to deliver new measures to boost housing supply and affordability.

“We’re investing a record $2.6 billion in housing and homelessness measures, including the delivery of 4,000 social homes and refurbishment and maintenance to thousands more.”

REIWA’s reaction to the Housing Supply Unit

Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) CEO, Cath Hart, welcomed the announcement.

“Supply is the biggest challenge facing the property market at the moment, with significant impacts on both sales and rental sectors,” said Hart.

“The current situation has been years in the making – the biggest lesson out of the past decade is how important it is that WA maintains its long-term average of 22,000 new home builds per year to meet the needs of our growing population and the natural change in household structure as children grow up and move out, or even as relationships change, and one household becomes two.

“A specific unit actively monitoring factors like market data, population growth and the economy will help develop responsive and proactive policy to meet the changing and diverse housing needs of our state, including social, affordable, key worker and Government Regional Officer housing, as well as addressing homelessness.

“We particularly welcome the liaison with industry bodies as we can provide up-to-the-minute feedback on changing market conditions and feedback from our members on the ground.

“The Government has clearly recognised the effect housing supply is having on the market.

“It has already announced several initiatives to boost supply, and we commend this additional action.”

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