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Albany public housing stock boosted but waiting list grows longer amid cost-of-living pressures

Stuart McGuckinAlbany Advertiser
Intuit Construction Services' David Kaczmarczyk shows Housing Minister John Carey through a Spencer Park social housing property undergoing refurbishment.
Camera IconIntuit Construction Services' David Kaczmarczyk shows Housing Minister John Carey through a Spencer Park social housing property undergoing refurbishment. Credit: Supplied

The number of applications on Albany’s public housing waiting list has climbed by almost 100 over the last year, but waiting times are falling as more housing continues to be added to pre-existing stock.

According to the Department of Communities, there are now 951 public housing properties managed by its Albany area office, up by 30 since January 2023.

Of those, 26 are currently vacant while undergoing maintenance or refurbishment or awaiting an offer of acceptance from applicants and a further six are being assessed for future use because of significant maintenance requirements.

As cost-of-living pressures bite, the waiting list has grown to 525 applications of which 155 are priority listed.

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These figures are up from 435 and 129 respectively at the start of 2023.

Housing Minister John Carey and Albany MLA Rebecca Stephens toured new modular social housing in McKail earlier this month.
Camera IconHousing Minister John Carey and Albany MLA Rebecca Stephens toured new modular social housing in McKail earlier this month. Credit: Supplied

Despite the increased size of the waiting list, the average wait time on the list has been reduced from 124 weeks to 117 over the same period, but the average wait time for priority-listed applicants has climbed to 68 from 61.

A department spokesman said “it is important to note that most applicants for public housing have access to accommodation while they are waiting to be offered a property”.

During a recent visit to Albany as part of the Community Cabinet earlier this month, Housing Minister John Carey was taken on a tour of new and refurbished public housing stock.

Mr Carey visited new modular housing in McKail as well as social housing undergoing refurbishment in Spencer Park alongside Albany MLA Rebecca Stephens.

“I want to be clear — our Government is acutely aware of the current housing market across the country and its impacts on many Western Australians,” he said.

Ms Stephens said seeing local builders contracted to deliver more social housing for Albany was a welcome site.

“These new modular homes look great and showcase how our modular program is helping to boost social housing supply, especially here in Albany,” he said.

“As part of that program, it is encouraging to see that 43 social housing dwellings have been added in the City of Albany, with a further 39 under contract or construction.”

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