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WA’s social housing plan to alleviate rental crisis

A 10-year plan to create 2600 affordable houses across Western Australia will hopefully ease the “rental crisis” that the state looks likely to experience.

Last month, Perth’s rental listings fell to an eight-year low, with under 3000 properties available over the month.

Over two months, Perth’s vacancy rate dropped from 2 per cent to 1.3 per cent, a situation the Real Estate Institute of WA called “a recipe for disaster” for tenants looking for a rental property.

REIWA President Damian Collins labelled it a “severe rental shortage”, noting the city is “now on the brink of a rental crisis”.

“In addition, a number of our regional members are reporting vacancy rates close to zero, so the impact is being felt across the entire state,” Mr Collins said.

The WA Housing Strategy 2020-2030 aims to increase social housing by 6 per cent across the state, with a further target to connect 150,000 households with a home by 2030.

The strategy commits to:

  • connecting 150,000 WA households to a home
  • building liveable, inclusive and connected communities that improve social and economic participation
  • creating jobs and contributing to the state’s economy, and
  • improving outcomes through a more integrated approach to housing and service assistance

WA Housing Minister Peter Tinley work on the new housing strategy commenced in July 2019.

“Even then, before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognised the need for a more agile approach to housing,” he said.

“The WA Housing Strategy 2020-2030 is not just about building houses. It is about providing the right information, education and support to help people access and sustain a suitable and affordable home that meets their needs.

“In the past 20 years, WA’s housing market has struggled more and more to meet the needs of people on low-to-moderate incomes and those with specific housing needs.

“The WA Housing Strategy 2020-2030 is a call to action for all sectors to work together to improve housing choices and pathways.

“Through strong partnerships across government, industry and the community sector we can create safe, stable and sustainable homes for all Western Australians – especially the most vulnerable.”

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