New apartments to tackle shortage

02. 945NEWS

• Housing minister Colin Holt with Terry Maller and fellow Foundation Housing tenant Liliana Tica-Ban at the opening of the Bennett Street complex. Photo by Steve Grant

A NEW $26 million apartment complex on Bennett Street, East Perth is part of Foundation Housing’s plan to increase the amount of affordable housing in Perth.

The 10-storey building includes 70 new self-contained one-bedroom and studio apartments.

“This is a very important step for ensuring that those who are often the most vulnerable in our community can live independently in housing that is affordable and safe”, said Foundation Housing CEO Kathleen Gregory.

Last year, Homeswest reported to Parliament it took on average 158 weeks to get eligible people into one of its properties, and Foundation Housing hopes private community housing can fill the gap.

“Some people see it as opposition to state housing, but I see it as complementary”, says Foundation Housing former founding director Terry Maller.

Mr Maller, now retired and a tenant of the not-for-profit organisation, says it has the same eligibility criteria as Homeswest, but trims down the bureaucracy so service delivery is more efficient.

“I deal with my issues in the office, who deal with 110 tenants, but the state housing deals with thousands of tenants.”

Tenants are a combination of people from the social housing waitlist and other low income backgrounds.

The Bennett Street complex was launched on Tuesday August 2 by housing minister Colin Holt.

by TRILOKESH CHANMUGAM

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