300 Wellington Street lodging welcome; but only a first step in the face of WA’s worsening housing crisis
6 July 2021
Greens MP Dr Brad Pettitt MLC has today welcomed the announcement of a 100-bed crisis accommodation facility for First Nations peoples experiencing homelessness at 300 Wellington Street, as well as the announcement of 42 additional homes at the first Common Ground facility set to break ground in East Perth later this year.
“It’s good to see the State Government recognizing that we have a homelessness crisis in WA. Short-term accommodation like Boorloo Bidee Mia is vital to getting people off the street when they are in crisis.
“But crisis accommodation is not a home. A longer-term solution to ensure these people are permanently housed and not forced back into homelessness is also needed.
“The only thing that will solve homelessness is more housing and the State Government is the only provider that is capable of delivering that solution.
“The community sector is telling us that there are about 1,000 rough sleepers in Greater Perth, which means the adequate interim solution would be accommodation for 1,000 people.
“If we know how many people are homeless then we know how many homes we need. While a 100-bed short-term facility is welcome, we also need a housing response from the McGowan Government that matches the huge demand we are seeing.
“In the midst of NAIDOC week, it’s particularly important that the McGowan Government commits to long-term housing solutions for First Nations families, who we know face a longer wait time for public housing than their non-First Nations peers.
“The bottom line is that Western Australians are facing an unprecedented housing crisis and, without an equally large and innovative response from the McGowan Government, it will only worsen.
“Perth has the highest rate of commercial vacancies in Australia. The Urban Development Institute of Australia has also identified nearly 1,700 vacant properties in Perth that cannot be sold.
“If the McGowan Government is serious about addressing the housing crisis, they need to be investing in a range of solutions including spot-purchasing those thousands of vacant homes, quickly adapting government land and buildings for housing, and converting empty commercial buildings while WA grows its social and general residential housing stock.
Media contact – Piper Rollins, 0487 341 217
WA housing crisis quick facts:
· There have been 1,256 eviction applications from 29 March to 21 June 2021
o This represents an average of 418 evictions a month over that period, a 21% increase from the average number of monthly evictions pre-pandemic
o 794 (or 63% since the moratorium lifted) of these eviction applications have occurred between 01 May to 21 June 2021
· Between 31 August 2020 and 20 April 2021 the public housing waitlist has increased to 28,680 people, representing 16,660 applications
o This is up from 24,921 people on the waitlist in August 2020, representing 14,890 applications
o This 3,760 person spike is a 13.11% increase in people on the public housing waitlist since August 2020
· The priority housing waitlist in WA is even more dire. As of 20 April 2021, there are 5,897 people on the priority waitlist, up from 3,898 in August 2020.
o This represents an increase of 1,999 people on the priority housing waitlist or +33.89% since August 2020