Shelter WA pre-budget submission 2018/2019 - Housing: an opportunity for systemic reform

Housing Housing development Low income housing Public housing Western Australia
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What does it mean to be Western Australian? Housing insecurity and homelessness remain a key issue for many people across our State. There remains a lack of diverse and affordable housing options, for low to moderate income earners and different communities and demographic groups, contributing to mortgage and rental stress, poverty and homelessness.

Access to appropriate, affordable and accessible housing is fundamental to our State’s economic growth and prosperity. As housing influences a whole range of non-housing outcomes for individuals and families, including workforce participation, access to jobs, services, social participation, family stability and educational outcomes, housing will drive reform. Housing is critical to for the recovery of people experiencing family and domestic violence, mental health or alcohol and other drug issues.

Housing assets, and underutilised government land, are a multi-billion-dollar asset that could be better optimised. Investment across the housing continuum has the potential to be a key driver to major government cross portfolio reform and savings. Investment in housing solutions will deliver long term returns for the State and improve individual lives. Housing people in houses, not hospitals, prisons and mental health facilities is cost effective. Research indicates significant economic benefits in housing people net of the longitudinal costs on the health, mental health and justice systems of poor housing choice. Utilising housing will facilitate new service delivery models that are better and at a lower cost, and deliver effective individual and community and outcomes.

The State’s reform agenda will be maximised by partnering with community housing providers to deliver new Commonwealth, institutional and private investment into social and affordable housing supply. Community housing providers have a proven ability to work in collaboration with private industry, financiers and community service agencies to deliver the affordable housing outcomes sought by government. In partnership with the community services sector, new service delivery models will enable community housing providers to deliver scalable, flexible housing solutions; developing a more sophisticated response to people’s housing needs, co-ordinating and maximising the use of housing assets.

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