Latest housing announcement lacks substance

Aug 30, 2022 | State News, Steve Martin MLC

The McGowan Government’s latest plan to fix the skyrocketing social housing waitlist is just a media release with no substance.

Housing Minister John Carey recently decided not to accept any tenders for the government’s signature response to homelessness, the Common Ground facility, because he wanted to seek better value.

Now the McGowan Government has opened an expressions of interest process calling on proposals for the development of future public housing stock.

As part of the plan, nine State Government-owned landholdings will be released to the market.

“Has the building market suddenly cooled off? Does the Minister believe he will be swamped with offers to build social housing at a price the government can afford?” said Shadow Minister for Housing, Steve Martin MLC.

“In a market where apartment builds are struggling to get off the ground and the commencement pipeline is stuck; this announcement is oddly-timed.

“The priority should be general market housing supply, not adding complexity to the delivery of infill projects.”

In January this year, around one third of residential apartment developments were on hold – and it has only gotten worse.

“This Government wasted the opportunities of their first five years in office. They should have been building social homes when the market conditions were much more favourable,” said Mr Martin.

“Instead, the McGowan Labor Government squandered the opportunity and now can’t find builders or developers to provide the social housing this state desperately needs”.

“The Minister for Housing has already confirmed that there is a lack of interest in developing affordable housing. What makes this plan any different? How will the Government encourage developers to take part in these projects?

“We are again seeing another unrealistic announcement from the McGowan Labor Government that says all the right things but is completely devoid of detail.”