THE Greens’ sole MP in state parliament, Brad Pettitt, says a longer term solution may lie in the state government buying up vacant buildings to convert them into housing.
Dr Pettitt welcomed the interim shelter in a statement but added “crisis accommodation is not a home. A longer-term solution to ensure these people are permanently housed and not forced back into homelessness is also needed”.
About 1000 people sleep outside in the greater Perth area, and the public housing waitlist grows ever longer.
“The bottom line is that Western Australians are facing an unprecedented housing crisis and, without an equally large and innovative response from the McGowan Government, it will only worsen,” Dr Pettitt says.
“Perth has the highest rate of commercial vacancies in Australia. The Urban Development Institute of Australia has also identified nearly 1,700 vacant properties in Perth that cannot be sold.
“If the McGowan Government is serious about addressing the housing crisis, they need to be investing in a range of solutions including spotincluding spot-purchasing those thousands of vacant homes, quickly adapting government land and buildings for housing, and converting empty commercial buildings while WA grows its social and general residential housing stock.”
As of April there were about 28,680 people on the public housing waitlist, or 16,660 applications.
There’ll likely be a spike once numbers catch up with the increase in evictions since the covid rent moratorium ended in April.
“If the McGowan Government is serious about addressing the housing crisis, they need to be investing in a range of solutions