Housing Crisis Help Will Come Too Late

Feb 18, 2022 | State News, Steve Martin MLC

Shadow Minister for Housing, the Hon Steve Martin MLC, has welcomed the State Government’s decision to establish the Housing Diversity Pipeline in response to Western Australia’s ongoing housing crisis.

However, Mr Martin says that the new program will not address the immediate need for housing options.

“There is a clear lack of supply in our property market and our rental vacancy rates are at record lows,” said Mr Martin.
“Today’s announcement by the McGowan Labor Government doesn’t provide any help to people and families who are desperate for a house today.”

REIWA have recently released figures showing that over the past three years, Western Australia’s total housing supply has dropped by 57%. In the same period, listings for sale have declined by 53% and listings for rent have declined by 63%.

“Families today are seeing housing listings at drop to near 10-year lows, the current rental vacancy rate is still sitting below one percent and house prices have risen by 7% in the metro area alone.

“People living in regional WA are facing an even tougher set of circumstances with rental vacancy rates hitting 0% in some regional areas and house prices rising over 20% in the last year.

“The current situation is untenable for the thousands of Western Australians looking for a home,” said Mr Martin.

Concerns have also been raised that the houses promised in today’s announcement will not be built anytime soon due to a severe shortage of construction materials and workers.

“This announcement only delays government spending in the housing sector.

“There is not only intense competition for the supplies that are available, but the situation has been made worse by Premier McGowan’s tough border restrictions and decision to ban hardwood harvesting in WA.

“Minister Carey knows that we are facing a critical shortage of workers and supply but has instead chosen to ignore this reality and will only increase housing assets in a few years from now.

“The McGowan Labor Government must listen to the calls of industry bodies to investigate other options to free up housing stock now.

“It’s time the government think outside the box and find creative ways to make more efficient use of our current housing stock.”