WA: Housing affordability falls and 'will get worse'
Fears housing affordability crisis brewing across WA
The Western Australian Opposition says the State Government needs to take action to solve a housing affordability crisis, with more than 50,000 residents on the Homeswest waiting list. Labor's housing spokesman, Peter Tinley, says people who could once afford private rentals or their own home are now being forced to turn to public housing due to rising costs. He says there are more than 2,200 people on the waiting list in the mid-west and Gascoyne, more than 3,000 people in the wheatbelt, more than 2,600 people in the south-west, more than 1,500 in the Great Southern and more than 1,700 in the Pilbara.
Mr Tinley has accused the Minister for Housing, Troy Buswell, of not doing enough to solve the problem.
"Because there's such a housing shortage, rents are just through the roof, so there's no opportunity for these people who are working ... what I would call the working poor ... who have no capacity to actually get into the private rental [market], let alone home ownership," he said.
"It's just becoming too difficult. "The Government needs to be very serious about funding public housing correctly and not wasting money. "Population in Western Australia is not decreasing, it won't be a feature of our future. We'll be an increasing population all over the place. "We need to take that seriously and fund properly the expectation that people have for looking after some of the most vulnerable people in our community."
Mr Buswell says there are only about 23,000 people registered on the public housing waiting list as at May 2012, which is fewer than last year. He says the Government is continuing work on its State Affordable Housing Strategy, which aims to deliver at least 20,000 new Homeswest homes by 2020.
Mr Buswell says the Government has constructed more than 3,000 new public housing dwellings in three-and-a-half years. (source ABC News)