Member for Geraldton Ian Blayney is urging the State Government to identify more social housing for construction, maintenance and refurbishment under the WA Recovery Plan stating that the currently scheduled work does not go far enough.
Mr Blayney is disappointed that only two social housing properties in the Midwest and Gascoyne are currently set for refurbishment under the State Government’s $141.7m program to refurbish ageing housing stock across Western Australia.
“Last month I asked the Minister for Housing to provide a breakdown of the 80 social housing properties in the Midwest and Gascoyne set for refurbishment,” Mr Blayney said.
“Only two properties in the region have been earmarked for refurbishment, which is unacceptable given the fact that the Midwest Recovery plan was delivered months ago as well as the fact that Geraldton alone had at least 36 properties requiring redevelopment at the start of the year.
Mr Blayney welcomes the eight new social dwellings set to be constructed in Geraldton as well as the fact that 36 regional social, remote and government workers’ housing properties have been identified for maintenance works in the Midwest/Gascoyne, with 22 located in Geraldton.
However, Mr Blayney is disappointed that the work on these properties has yet to commence.
“It’s great that maintenance works on 8 properties in the Midwest and Gascoyne have started, but none of these properties are in Geraldton,” he said.
“With hundreds of people on the public housing list in Geraldton, it’s vitally important that social houses are built and maintained effectively and efficiently.
“Geraldton residents have been waiting for improvements in this area for a long time and they cannot afford to wait any longer – construction, refurbishment and maintenance of social housing properties needs to happen now.
“With a long wait for public housing, less emergency and crisis accommodation due to the closure of Cameliers and the current low rental vacancy rate, homelessness is becoming an ever more concerning issue in the city.
“Getting more properties built and fixed up more quickly will ensure the issue of homelessness in Geraldton will not continue on a downward trajectory.