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Two recently-completed Department of Housing developments at Meadow Springs and Lakelands have provided 151 more affordable housing options in the Peel region.
Communities in the North-West will benefit from State Government funding of $35million to provide affordable housing for non-government organisation (NGOs) employees delivering critical services.
Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said the Royalties for Regions funding would deliver 58 houses in priority Pilbara and Kimberley locations, including Karratha, Newman, South Hedland, Kununurra, Derby, Roebourne, Halls Creek and Broome.
A new shared equity loan scheme through the State Government’s lending provider Keystart will provide 2,000 affordable home ownership opportunities for West Australians on low to moderate incomes. Housing Minister Troy Buswell said the SharedStart program would give singles on incomes of less than $70,000 and couples on less than $90,000 (up to $110,000 in the North-West) the opportunity to purchase a range of new properties though the Department of Housing (DoH). “This is a key initiative coming from the State Government’s Affordable HIHousing Strategy and will allow more low to moderate income-earning West Australians achieve their dream of home ownership,” Mr Buswell said. “The SharedStart scheme will see Government providing a targeted, entry-level home ownership product offering 2,000 people a first step on the property ladder when they could not normally afford to buy a home of their own. “SharedStart will provide two joint ownership loan options for eligible applicants, under either a fixed or flexible equity option, with the flexible equity option offering incentives for borrowers to increase their equity to full ownership of the property over time.” The Minister said SharedStart was linked to the Department of Housing’s recently announced Expressions of Interest (EOI) program and would include recently completed or soon to be completed dwellings as well as off-the-plan opportunities. “By linking SharedStart with the EOI Program, the Government is able to provide much needed entry level affordable home ownership opportunities while also stimulating activity in the West Australian building industry,” he said. “The EOI program is focused on delivering new homes that are innovative in design, respond to a changing Western Australian housing market and meet the affordable housing needs of one and two-person households as well as families. “The Department of Housing has already received an enthusiastic response with more than 80 proposals submitted for projects across the State. “Through SharedStart and the EOI Program, the Government is working effectively with industry to address housing availability and affordability in WA with the goal of providing at least 20,000 additional affordable homes by 2020.” Public housing tenants may also have the option to buy their existing DoH properties. SharedStart properties will initially be available in Northbridge, Mirrabooka, East Perth, Subiaco and Meadow Springs, with future properties being identified through the EOI Program. Keystart is currently assessing and approving applications for SharedStart. People interested in the SharedStart scheme can check their eligibility and obtain pre-approval by contacting Keystart on 1300KSTART or by emailing email@example.com. More information on the SharedStart loan can be obtained by visiting http://www.keystart.com.au Properties offered under the SharedStart scheme can be viewed from Wednesday September 14 through the SharedStart page on the Department of Housing’s website.
Minister's office - 9213 6900
Tenant John Stewart recently benefitted from the persistence of Department of Housing staff who helped him out of a desperate situation when he was faced with losing his home.
The Department was alerted to the pending closure of Aqua Caravan Park in Furnissdale, where Mr Stewart lived, last December. As a long-stay resident, he received a 180-day notice to vacate.The Department helped in the transition process by coordinating with the park owners and the Peel Development Commission to interview long-stay residents to determine their intentions towards securing alternate accommodation. Many residents had no idea of the different housing options available to them and they were quite distressed at losing the place they had come to know as home.
The Department discovered that Mr Stewart was not happy at being moved out of his home, especially as he has no family. He also knew of the long wait for public housing after caring for his partner who was a previous Department tenant.
The Department’s Mandurah Area Manager spoke with Mr Stewart to explain the different options available to him outside of public housing. She explained the option of community housing and what could be expected in senior complexes.
The Area Manager took Mr Stewart to view the new accommodation she was able to secure for him as it was too hard for him to commit to something sight unseen. Even though complex was not finished yet, Mr Stewart was pleasantly surprised with what he saw.
The Department also assisted Mr Stewart to apply to Anglicare on his behalf for seniors’ assistance funding to pay for his removal costs.
Mr Stewart is now happily settled in his new one-bedroom unit in the recently opened complex run by Bethanie Housing Ltd in Coodanup. He is very grateful at the Department’s efforts in securing him a new home and has thanked the Area Manager for all the help she was able to provide over the course of the transition and removal process.
“I can sum up living in this place with one word – magic!” Mr Stewart said. “It’s cheaper than living in the caravan park yet the quality of my home is higher than some of the motels around the place. The people here are friendly and the common facilities mean that there is a strong sense of community. “I know I took some convincing but I can’t tell you how happy I am to be living here.”
2,300 homes for WA funded from Round 4 of the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS)
Affordable rental options in Western Australia will increase substantially with the announcement of 2,300 new properties to be funded under Round 4 of the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).
Housing Minister Troy Buswell said the latest allocation brought the total NRAS allocation in the State to 5,000 properties.
“These 2,300 properties will provide a much-needed boost to the supply of affordable rental housing in WA,” Mr Buswell said.
“An additional benefit is the stimulus it will provide to the building and construction industry, during a downturn in new homes being built across the State.”The State Government will provide a cash incentive of $2,285 annually, indexed per year for the next 10 years, to property owners under the NRAS scheme, in addition to the incentive provided by the Federal Government.
“This is more than $11.4million per year over the next 10 years to increase affordable housing options in the State,” the Minister said.
Properties eligible for the NRAS program must be either newly-constructed or recently completed, and will be located in areas of most need, particularly those with employment, transport, schools and other services nearby.
Mr Buswell said the properties would be constructed across the State, including 920 in the North-West.
“Areas such as Broome, Derby, South Hedland and Tom Price in the north, Kalgoorlie to the east and Margaret River, Bunbury and Bridgetown to the south are some of the towns that will benefit from NRAS,” he said.
“We have been very successful in delivering NRAS in WA, and it continues to be an important element among our innovative initiatives to deliver affordable housing options to low and middle income earners.” Fact File
Minister's office - 9213 6900
Construction of a 22-bed, 24-hour sub-acute care facility for people with mental illness to help them recover after hospital treatment started today in Joondalup.
The first of its kind in Western Australia, the $3.8million facility will accommodate patients for up to 90 days to receive supportive care and participate in individualised programs aimed at helping them live successfully and independently in the community.
Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said the facility would allow people with mental illness to be discharged from hospital earlier, after an acute illness and receive the care they need as they settle back into the community.
“Alternatively, for people who are becoming unwell, it allows them to receive the support they need to stay out of hospital,” Mrs Morton said.
“This type of accommodation is essential to give people the best chance of recovery and living successfully in our community.”
Housing Minister Troy Buswell said funding for the sub acute facility was from the State Government’s 2011-12 Budget commitment of more than $70million for housing and support services for mental health clients.
“The significant budget allocation for mental health housing and services this year acknowledged that there are people with special needs all over WA and the Liberal-National Government is progressing several innovative projects to meet these needs,” Mr Buswell said.
The Department of Housing is managing construction of the facility, which is expected to be completed in mid-2012.
Fact File10-year vision for mental health 2011-12 mental health budget information Mental Health Minister’s office - 9213 7250Housing Minister’s office - 9213 6900
A $30million homeless shelter project under way in East Perth has received a major boost today, receiving a State Government-supported Lotterywest grant for more than $2.8million.Housing Minister Troy Buswell said the funds, for the fit-out of the facility, were in addition to the $22million the Government had already provided to the St Bartholomew’s Lime Street project.“St Bart’s Lime Street project, which will provide 148 beds for homeless and aged persons, is a fantastic example of a project being delivered through a partnership between Government and the community sector,” Mr Buswell said.“Partnerships like this, along with partnerships with the private sector, are an important element of the State Affordable Housing Strategy, which aims to provide an additional 20,000 affordable housing options by 2020.”The seven-storey building at 152 Lime Street, East Perth will comprise 54 one-bedroom residential units to meet social housing needs; 12 one-bedroom crisis units; 42 transitional lodging beds for homeless men; and a 40-bed aged care facility. Construction on the project commenced in January 2011 and is due to be completed in 2012.Funding for the project is being provided by the State ($22.3million plus $2.8million from Lotterywest), the Commonwealth ($7.3million) and St Bart’s ($1million).The Minister said the Department of Housing had worked successfully with St Bart’s since 1992 through its Community Housing programs.“St Bart’s target people at greatest risk in the community, such as the aged, ill and homeless, showing them compassion and care and, most importantly, giving them a sense of hope.”Since its establishment in 1933, Lotterywest has provided more than $3billion to the Western Australian community.
The construction of a centre to provide transit accommodation for Aboriginal people visiting Kalgoorlie-Boulder has reached a key milestone with the tender awarded for design and construction of the $3million project.
Housing Minister Troy Buswell said Murray River North Pty Ltd was awarded tender for the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Indigenous Visitors’ Centre.
“This is a complex project and I am pleased to see the visitors’ centre progress to this key stage,” Mr Buswell said.
"Aboriginal people from remote towns and communities who need to travel to Kalgoorlie-Boulder for family, health, business or cultural purposes will have a safe and comfortable place to stay during their short visits.”
Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said the Liberal-National Government was spending $13million through the Royalties for Regions program to establish indigenous visitor hostels in major regional centres across Western Australia.
“The Kalgoorlie-Boulder Indigenous Visitors’ Centre will be the first of its kind in Western Australia, and will house up to 51 guests,” Mr Grylls said.
"It will lessen the hardship experienced by short-term visitors and lead to a reduction inpeople sleeping rough and the associated risks to those visitors.”
The facility is expected to open in July 2012.
Negotiations for the site of the Broome Indigenous Visitors’ Centre are under way.
Housing Minister’s office - 9213 6900
Regional Development Minister’s office - 9213 7000
The Department of Housing’s recently revamped website has allowed for better engagement with non government organisations (NGOs) in the area of policy development.
At a recent public forum that was held for NGOs to discuss the Department’s Community Disability Housing Program (CDHP), many participants expressed that they would like to have better opportunities to provide input into policies under development at the Department.
In response to this, the Department will be using the website to consult with NGOs for the first time.
The Department’s revamped website provides a new consultation option that can assist organisations, especially indigenous NGOs and those located in rural and remote WA, to be more directly involved in policy development.
The draft CDHP policy has been placed on the Department’s new website along with an online questionnaire for agencies to provide their input. Once completed and submitted, the responses to the questionnaire will be sent to a secure Department email that can only be accessed by relevant staff.
Traditionally the only way for NGOs to provide input to the Department was through public forums, and often NGOs located in rural and regional WA may not have the budget or resources to send staff to Perth to attend these.
While this form of engagement will not replace public forums, it is hoped that using the website and the online form will make a big difference for NGOs and allow more of them to provide input on policies.
In relation to the CDHP, NGOs will still have the opportunity for the more traditional face-to-face consultation which is scheduled for 28 November 2011. The final policy document is expected to be available in early 2012.
The CDHP policy and online form can be accessed here
Growing up on various stations in remote WA, Evelyn never dreamed of home ownership but thanks to the Department’s East Kimberley Transitional Housing Program, she is now a proud new home owner.
The 2011 flood that nearly wiped out the remote East Kimberley township of Warmun has been commemorated in a beautiful limited-edition book that has now been made available free to everyone online.
The Department’s Victoria Street development in Bunbury has been recognised in the recent 2014 WA Architecture Awards.
A pioneering modular Department of Housing project in Perth’s southern suburbs will deliver 77 high-quality, affordable apartments towards the end of 2014.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman and Housing Minister Bill Marmion today opened 10 rental units in Newman, increasing affordable housing options for service workers in the town.
Osprey Village in South Hedland was officially opened today, with more than 120 households already occupying the 293-unit community.
A pioneering demonstration of modular housing planned for the northern suburbs’ Banksia Grove estate will deliver 20 affordable modular homes in the next stage of the development.
Not-for-profit body Shelter WA has been appointed to provide a strong single voice on the critical issue of affordable housing and represent the housing needs of low-to-moderate income earners.
The Department of Housing has recently changed the way it will assess household income to ensure a more even method of rent calculation for all public-housing tenants.
In 2014, NAIDOC Week honours all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women who fought in defence of country. The Housing Opening Ceremony began with a flag-raising ceremony and a Welcome to Country performed by Dr Richard Walley.
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