THE WA housing department and Vincent council are in talks over the future of the infamous Stirling Towers block of units in Highgate.
The fate of most tenants at the complex—dubbed Suicide Towers, Hell Towers and Psycho Towers—may well end up in limbo as a result.
At a briefing to councillors this week Matt Negus, apartments project manager with the department, outlined two options for the 12-storey complex’s future:
• retain as 100 per cent public housing; or,
• flatten it, redevelop the site and sell 90 per cent of new apartments as affordable private homes.
The neighbourhood is currently plagued by drugs, vandalism and squatters using the laundry as a toilet.
Vincent councillor Josh Topelberg described the 44-year-old building as “an eyesore” that “social issues aside, it contributes nothing architecturally”.
Mayor John Carey says any new affordable housing must be well-designed.
“We don’t want dogboxes, which is always a temptation when trying to build cheaper housing,” he told Mr Argus.
He’d prefer fewer “light and airy” units “rather than just trying to cram in as many as you can”.
Cr Emma Cole asked what would happen to current tenants. “I can assure you they will be taken care of, every single one of them,” said the department’s John Pynes. However, there is no assurance they’ll remain in the inner-city.
by DAVID BELL