Failing Minister slams the door on addressing housing crisis

Aug 17, 2022 | State News, Steve Martin MLC

The Opposition has slammed the McGowan Labor Government for failing to deliver a solution to the dire housing shortages impacting WA, with 33,644 people waiting for a place to call home.

The Opposition called on the Minister for Housing to address the raft of failures in his portfolio in Parliament today.

“One of the biggest concerns raised by residents and businesses across the State is the lack of affordable and available housing,” Ms Davies said.

“Whether it’s emergency housing, social housing, affordable rentals, or even the Government’s own housing for essential workers – there’s just not enough.

“After five and a half years in Government, all the McGowan Labor Government has delivered in this portfolio is a crisis.”

Ms Davies said housing shortages have worsened during the McGowan Labor Government’s half decade in power, with no solutions on the horizon.

“It’s appalling to find out that we have vacant public housing stock with a growing waitlist,” Ms Davies said.

“The Housing Minister must urgently address public housing vacancies to ensure as many West Australians who need public housing support can get it.

“The Shire of Carnarvon has 45 public housing properties sitting empty while families are living in over-crowded or substandard homes.

“This has led to dysfunction in parts of this community, along with other towns experiencing shortages, which is no doubt a factor in the crime and antisocial behaviour.”

Shadow Minister for Housing Steve Martin said the Minister has been unable to control the skyrocketing growth of the public housing waitlist.

“There has been a 32 per cent rise in number of applicants for social housing in past two years,” Mr Martin said.

“At the end of July, there were 19,103 applications on the public housing waitlist, representing 33,644 people – this included 4,212 priority applications, representing 8,519 people.

“Minister Carey has said he is suffering from sleepless nights because no one is tendering for social housing projects, but I think he is asleep at the wheel.

“Recently, Minister Carey announced a delay to East Perth Common Ground facility, a key plank in the Government’s plan to support those suffering from homelessness – this is just another stalled housing plan under this Minister.

“Under the Minister’s watch, the rental vacancy rate has fallen to continuous record-lows, the public housing waitlist has skyrocketed, and the number of people experiencing homelessness remains high.”