Perth 15 July 2015
The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia has welcomed news from the State Government that it had met its target for construction of affordable homes early.
Yesterday, Premier Colin Barnett said his government had delivered on 20,000 new homes for people on low and moderate incomes over the last five years.
This included 10,000 low-deposit Keystart home loans, 1,900 shared equity homes, 2,700 discounted private rentals and 5,400 social housing properties.
REIWA President David Airey said the government’s affordable housing program helped many people into a home of their own or a more secure rental.
“Cost of living in WA is higher than most parts of the east coast, so any program that helps people to live more comfortably around the state is very important. It helps those on modest incomes to own their own home and it contributes to better communities,” Mr Airey said.
Mr Airey said REIWA members often helped first home buyers using the Keystart home loans scheme or managed private rentals where tenants received a government subsidy to assist with rental costs.
The Premier has committed to a new target of 30,000 affordable homes by 2020.
"This strategy has changed the lives of thousands of West Australians by giving them a place to call home but there is still more to be done," Mr Barnett said.
"The strategy has worked across the housing spectrum, from affordable land and housing sales and Keystart home loans to social housing and affordable rentals," Mr Barnett said.
Mr Airey said that while REIWA was a strong advocate of private home ownership, it recognised the need for adequate affordable, social and community housing.
“Not everyone is in a position to secure a mortgage and maintain loan repayments, so as a society and community it’s important to take reasonable steps to ensure fairness and do what we can to prevent homelessness and improve housing affordability,” Mr Airey said.
According to the State Government, Keystart has provided nearly 60,000 low-deposit loans over the past 25 years, with 86 per cent of current borrowers being first homebuyers.
The Department of Housing and its partners have delivered 15 per cent of all land supply in WA over the past five years, with an average of 80 per cent below the median land price for Perth.