Housing stimulus protects jobs and charts path to economic recovery

Jun 8, 2021 | COVID, State News

Social Housing Economic Recovery package estimated to create and support a total of more than 1,700 jobs over two years – 430 in regional WA

$319 million stimulus will refurbish 1,500 homes, deliver about 250 new dwellings for Government housing and rollout regional maintenance program for 3,800 homes

$80 million maintenance program will prioritise work for local businesses in regional WA

Increased pipeline of work will help ensure continued employment for workers including builders, suppliers and trades people

The McGowan Government’s Social Housing Economic Recovery package will see 1,500 public and community houses refurbished, a rolling maintenance program targeting 3,800 regional dwellings and the delivery of about 250 new homes to help meet Western Australia’s social housing needs.

The $141.7 million housing refurbishment package will breathe new life into 1,500 of WA’s ageing housing stock by stripping them back to the frames and rebuilding.

The plan, scheduled for immediate rollout, is expected to support about 380 jobs over two years and provide tradespeople and building material suppliers with additional certainty about an ongoing pipeline of work.

A second stream of work is expected to start in 2020-21 when social housing tenants affected by the refurbishments are relocated to other State-owned properties.

Workers in regional WA will also benefit from the package under an $80 million investment to fast-track a regional maintenance program.

The scheme will target about 3,800 dwellings, including social housing, remote Aboriginal communities’ stock and subsidised housing for regional Government workers. Also scheduled for an immediate start, it will maximise opportunities for regional workers by prioritising local businesses quoting for work.

The program is expected to create and support around 430 jobs in 2020-21 and stimulate economic activity in regional areas.

The proposed works will reduce the existing backlog and involve minor maintenance and preventative activities that can be completed within six months.

The Department of Communities has already engaged with existing Head Contractors and subcontractors to expedite some maintenance works.

The third element of the package is $97 million to build or buy about 250 dwellings comprising new social housing builds across both metropolitan Perth and regional areas and some off-the-plan purchases ready for immediate construction.

A time limited Call for Submissions process by the Department of Communities will open around mid-June to acquire off-the-plan pre-sales opportunities. Guidelines, including submission forms will be available on TendersWA and the Department’s website.

The process aims to accelerate timeframes for the start of building construction-ready projects and further support the residential construction industry.

The 250 new homes will create and support up to 260 jobs per year by delivering the home building sector a pipeline of work over the next 24 months.

The package will be delivered in concurrence with the previously announced $150 million Housing and Homelessness Package and the $394 million METRONET Social and Affordable Housing and Job Package.

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

“We know that the housing construction sector has been doing it tough during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this package will help get people back to work while stimulating the State’s economy.

“It will create a pipeline of work, particularly for workers in regional WA, who will benefit from the ongoing maintenance program and stimulate economic activity in regional towns.

“It will also deliver much needed refurbishments to our social housing stock and comes on top of the significant Housing and Homelessness package announced last year.

“WA’s residential building industry makes a significant contribution to the domestic economy, accounting for$5.2 billion of Gross State Product (GSP) in 2018-19.

“It has a 66,000-strong workforce and is a major training ground for our future skilled workers, which is why it’s vital we continue to support the sector as part of our recovery from the pandemic.”

Comments attributed to Housing Minister Peter Tinley:

“The various elements of this package are designed to provide a pipeline of work for the building sector to support it through this difficult period.

“It will also result in more liveable, modern homes for tenants and improve the overall lifespan of our social housing stock – a publicly-owned asset with an estimated worth of about $14 billion.

“The beauty of the refurbishment and the regional maintenance aspects of this social housing economic recovery package is that they can start straight away and give small businesses, contractors, builders and tradespeople the chance to stay in work and keep their employees on board.

“I encourage businesses, organisations or trades interested in becoming involved to visit
https://www.communities.wa.gov.au/projects/social-housing-economic-recovery-package-sherp .”