State gov pledges $511m boost to social housing in latest budget
Ahead of the delivery of the 2023-24 State Budget on May 11, an injection of $511 million into new social housing and homelessness services was announced this morning.
As part of the commitment, a $450 million investment will be made to the existing Social Housing Investment Fund – an initiative with a record now-$2.6 billion investment in housing and homelessness services in Western Australia since it was first announced in 2021.
The additional investment aims to provide a further 700 social homes across the state, alongside refurbishing existing Department of Communities’ housing stock.
$49 million has been allocated as part of the commitment to a pilot program, delivered with community housing organisations, that provides 100 supported landlord homes to rough sleepers in regional Western Australia.
The waitlist for Department of Communities public housing last year had over 30000 people on it, and 2022 data showed over 2000 unoccupied social houses across the state that were in need of repairs, maintenance or demolition.
“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,” said Premier Mark McGowan.
“We’re also assisting more Western Australians to achieve their home ownership goals through changes to Keystart’s Urban Connect Home Loan making more dwellings eligible.”
These changes to Keystart’s pilot Urban Connect include expanding the program to include one bedroom apartments, as well as a new program that focuses on the pre-sale of off-the-plan properties.
“Since the McGowan Government’s record investment in social housing and homelessness measures, we’ve added more than 1,200 social homes, with nearly 1,000 social homes currently under contract or construction,” added Housing Minister John Carey
“The 2023-24 State Budget highlights our commitment in supporting the most vulnerable members of our community with a $511 million investment in housing and homelessness initiatives – including adding 100 supported landlord homes for people experiencing rough sleeping in regional Western Australia.”