Shelter WA and the Western Australian Council of Social Service (WACOSS) warmly welcome today’s State Government announcement of a significant investment in social and affordable housing and homelessness initiatives.

The State Government has today committed $750.8 million across several social and affordable housing initiatives in the 2024-25 state budget, with a large portion to be allocated to the Social and Affordable Investment Fund (SAHIF) to support the delivery and refurbishment of social housing stock and provide vital housing to those in our community who need it most.

This is in addition to the recently announced $92.2 million funding boost for critical homelessness support services and case management to assist more people experiencing homelessness into permanent accommodation.

Shelter WA Chief Executive Officer Kath Snell said the funding was especially significant for those community housing organisations that have projects and plans at the ready.

“The addition in maintenance funding has been desperately needed, and we are relieved to see that the State Government is focused on this area, ensuring that social housing is of a liveable and appropriate standard for tenants.

“Our Pre-Budget Submission specifically named the affordable rental homes at risk of being lost with the conclusion of the National Rental Affordable Scheme as a vital focus. We are happy to see that the State Government will be investing into the purchase of some of these homes, ensuring they remain affordable rentals.

“We look forward to hearing more detail on this and encourage significant investment to ensure that as many affordable rentals are retained as possible.”

Ms Snell said the subject of constraints in the construction workforce has been a persistent issue on the minds of many of Shelter WA’s members.

“Consequently, we welcome the news that investment in training is highlighted, and we look forward to hearing more, and consulting on construction workforce planning.

“We also look forward to the handing down of the state budget on Thursday, and are hopeful that Shelter WA’s remaining priority asks for the housing and homelessness sectors will be addressed.

“We are optimistic that today’s announcement by the State Government is indicating that this will be the Housing and Homelessness Budget we have been advocating for.”

WACOSS Chief Executive Officer Louise Giolitto said it went without saying that more funding for the housing and homelessness crises would be elating for the sector.

“We know social and affordable housing – both in supply and condition – has been at crisis point for some time now. So, to see a funding injection of this size from the State Government is to be absolutely commended.

“With more Western Australians doing it tougher than ever before, the community sector greatly appreciates the State Government’s commitment to helping those who need it most.”

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