Labor ignores calls for help as housing crisis worsens

As homeowners brace for a forecast rate rise tomorrow, the housing crisis in WA continues to worsen with lots of talk but little action from a Labor government standing idle, according to Shadow Housing Minister Steve Martin.

“The housing and homelessness crisis in Western Australia has reached breaking point, yet the McGowan Labor Government continually overpromises and underdelivers when it comes to solving the housing crisis,” Mr Martin said.

“Each week my office receives desperate calls for help from people around the state. People living in tents, single parents and their children living in cars and elderly people living on the street.

“Families are being forced to choose between putting food in their mouths or keeping a roof over their head. They are desperate and Labor has failed them at every step.”

Mr Martin said it was inexcusable that in a State as wealthy as WA, single mothers and their babies were living in their cars because there simply wasn’t another option.

“Many Western Australians can’t access a secure place of accommodation, often through no fault of their own.”

Recent figures from REIWA show that rental vacancy rates are at their lowest levels since records began over 42 years ago. The cash rate has also risen by 3.1% since May with a ninth hike expected tomorrow.

The median rent in Perth is now $545 per week for a house, up from $375 per week in February 2017. At the same time, there are almost 1000 less social housing properties compared with June 2017, with 1927 of them sitting vacant in June last year*.

“Labor’s ‘solutions’ continually fall short, with an increase in housing stock only vaguely committed for a few years into the future,” Mr Martin said.

“People in WA need roofs over their heads now – not in a few years’ time.

“The McGowan Labor Government is out of touch and refuses to acknowledge how dire the housing and homelessness crisis is – let alone come up with a solid plan to end it.

“If they are serious about solving the crisis, Labor must find a way to drastically increase housing stock to help ease the problem.”

*Perth Median House Prices, Sales Volume and Rental Market Data – REIWA

** Social Housing — VACANCIES SOCIAL HOUSING — Availability Questions without Notice 690
and 743. Wednesday 21st September, 2022.