Public housing numbers still on the rise

Aug 12, 2022 | State News, Steve Martin MLC

Figures released by the Labor Government yesterday show that the number of people on the public housing waitlist has increased to 33,644 as of 31 July 2022. Of these, 8,519 are priority applications.

There are now 33,644 individuals waiting for a home. This is an increase of 9,716 people since June 2020 and nearly 1,900 since the start of the year.

“There has been a 40% increase in the number of people waiting to access secure and affordable public housing since the start of the housing crisis in Western Australia,” said Shadow Housing Minister Steve Martin MLC.

“In the last two months alone, nearly 300 people have joined the waitlist. However, they will be waiting a long time with a two-to-three-year average wait,” said Mr Martin.

“Over 2,100 applicants have been waiting for over 5 years to access public housing, and there are no signs of improvement.

“In fact, the Minister confirmed yesterday that there are now over 1,900 government-owned homes sitting empty – over twice the amount that there were in March last year.

“Despite the ongoing housing crisis, the WA Labor Government have failed to make any real difference to improving the number of public houses in WA.

“There are less homes now than there were at the start of the housing crisis, but over 9,700 more people waiting for a placement.

“It is simply not good enough,” said Mr Martin.

“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.

“The government must act immediately to alleviate the pressure on the housing waitlist and get the numbers under control,” said Mr Martin.