Earlier this week, the Premier announced the achievement of delivering 20,000 affordable homes as part of the State Government’s Affordable Housing Strategy.
Earlier this week, the Premier announced the achievement of delivering 20,000 affordable homes as part of the State Government’s Affordable Housing Strategy. Launched in 2011, the ten year strategy was the first of its kind in Australia and sought to address the causes not just the consequences of declining affordability.
The strategy was largely about actions to increase market (not just Government) delivery of affordable housing across a continuum that provides broader options targeted to capacity and need. Discounted rentals, shared equity, low deposit home loans and social housing all formed part of the action plan that has resulted in 20,000 affordable homes.
UDIA has been a strong advocate of developing pathways that give people the opportunity move through from social housing on a continuum towards housing ownership. The government has been actively pursuing this objective as well, moving well beyond a narrow social housing remit. The Affordable Housing Strategy delivered:
o 5,400 social housing dwellings for people on very low incomes
o 2,700 discounted rentals for people on low incomes
o 1,900 shared equity loans for aspirational workers on low incomes
o 10,000 low deposit Keystart loans for workers on moderate incomes
The majority (85%) of homes sold through the Department of Housing’s Affordable Sales Program are in the lowest quartile ($435,000 and below) which ensures entry level homes are available, particularly for shared equity homebuyers.
UDIA also strongly supports Keystart, which has provided over 59,000 low deposit loans in the past 25 years. This has assisted people on modest incomes obtain a modest home which has been vitally important for those struggling to buy their first home.
The scale of the challenge means no one sector can solve the affordability issue alone. The Strategy is built around partnerships that combine the different capacities of the government, not-for-profit sector and private sectors.
Together with the State Government, the private and not-for-profit sectors have helped changed the lives of around 50,000 Western Australians. Construction of more than 13,700 new homes has created an estimated $6.8 billion in broader economic activity and 30,000 jobs in construction and related industries.
With an extended target now set to 30,000 it will take a cooperative approach to ensure housing affordability remains a key priority. The commitment by government to an ongoing program is important, as access to affordable housing remains a key issue not only to those that are directly affected but to the broader economic health of our state.