The Liberals Housing Affordability Policy

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1 The Liberals Housing Affordability Policy Printed and Authorised by B Morton, 640 Murray Street, West Perth WA 6005

2 Policy Summary Affordable housing is fundamental to the continued growth of our State, and with over 1,000 people moving to Western Australia per week, there has been unavoidable pressure put on our existing housing supply. However, much has been done to address these problems, including creation of the State s first ever Affordable Housing Strategy, launched in 2010 which aims to build 20,000 additional affordable homes by By the end of 2012, the Liberal-led Government had already delivered over 7,600 of these homes to Western Australians. This good work needs to continue, and changing track now will mean we won t realise the long term benefits that the decisions made by the Liberal-led Government will result in. In order to further enhance the State s level of affordable housing, if re-elected, the Liberal Party will: Establish the Housing Stock Redevelopment Strategy in order to provide a minimum of 500 new affordable homes within three years. Commit to changing the residential design codes to allow non-relatives to occupy granny flats and increase the allowable floor space from 60m² to 70m². Continue the good work of the Affordable Housing Strategy and work towards the target of 20,000 additional affordable homes by Create a one stop web portal for advice on affordable housing. 2

3 Public Housing Stock Redevelopment Strategy If re-elected the Liberals will: Establish the Housing Stock Redevelopment Strategy in order to provide a minimum of 500 new affordable homes within three years. The Liberal Party believes that Governments need to do more in order to achieve an efficient use of taxpayers money and secure WA s affordable housing future. A re-elected Liberal Government will establish the Housing Stock Redevelopment Strategy; an innovative, accelerated construction program aimed at providing a minimum of 500 new dwellings over three years by fully utilising currently held land. The policy will better use vacant lots and a number of existing houses with block sizes over 1,000m2 held by the Department of Housing. Where an existing single house is on a block of land over 1,000m2, the property will be redeveloped to yield a higher number of properties. 50 per cent of the new homes will be sold through the State s Shared Equity program and 50 per cent sold normally. It is estimated that the delivery of 500 properties will be cost neutral after sales revenue. Houses that become vacant will be targeted as a priority; however there will be some houses with existing tenants that will be required to shift. Although it will be guaranteed that they will be provided a new home as close as possible to the existing premises. For the residents that are required to shift, properties will be spot purchased, or new homes due for construction allocated in order to house them so that the older properties can be redeveloped. 3

4 Changes for Granny Flats If re-elected the Liberals will: Commit to changing the residential design codes to allow non-relatives to occupy granny flats and increase the allowable floor space from 60m² to 70m². With advancements in building and construction technology, granny flats have become an innovative solution to the need for more small and affordable types of accommodation. However at present an antiquated rule within the State residential design codes restricts the ability of most to be able to take advantage of this. At present, granny flats must be occupied by a relative of the owner of the main house. A re-elected Liberal Government will remove this restriction and allow an increase in the allowable floor space from 60m² to 70m². This will allow families looking to invest in, and rent out a granny flat to do so and will be beneficial for many students and seniors looking for small, safe and affordable places to live. Other existing planning rules such as setbacks will remain the same. Key reasons for the granny flat amendments include: Housing Diversity - small dwellings provide for Perth s changing household demographics (23% of Perth s dwellings contain only one occupant, ABS 2011). Housing Affordability - home owners will be able to rent out existing or new granny flats, which will increase the amount of smaller, more affordable dwellings (Perth s rental vacancy rate is at 1.9%, REIWA Sept 2012). Ageing in Place empty nesters and seniors will have more options, instead of having to sell up and move to unlock equity in their homes, they could rent out a granny flat and receive a reasonable regular income. For single seniors a lodger can also provide a carer/ social contact and added security. Local Construction increasing demand for granny flats will provide an injection into the local construction industry and local jobs. 4

5 Affordable Housing Strategy If re-elected the Liberals will: Continue the good work of the Affordable Housing Strategy and work towards the target of 20,000 additional affordable homes by In 2011 the Liberal-led Government launched the State s first ever Affordable Housing Strategy: Opening Doors to Affordable Housing, aimed at providing an additional 20,000 affordable homes by At the end of 2012, over 7,600 of these homes had already been delivered marking significant progress in achieving the end goal. Key highlights of the Strategy have been: Work starting on the One on Aberdeen development which, in partnership with Diploma Properties will provide 161 one and two-bedroom apartments offering a range of housing solutions, including social and affordable rental; traditional rental and home ownership; and shared home ownership opportunities Committed to delivering at least 1,300 new affordable homes by 2020 through a new agreement between Housing and the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority Established the Office of Land and Housing Supply to provide strategic advice on the main barriers to supply of affordable housing and drive the delivery of priority affordable housing projects Initiated the Golden Bay development to provide 1,750 lots with house and land packages starting from less than $300,000. A re-elected Liberal Government will continue the Affordable Housing Strategy and continue to work towards providing an additional 20,000 affordable homes for Western Australian families by

6 Affordable Housing Web Portal If re-elected the Liberals will: Create a one stop web portal for advice on affordable housing. There is a vast range of affordable housing services and advice available through the State Government; however there is no central place for clear communication of this advice and the services on offer. A re-elected Liberal Government will develop an affordable housing web portal to provide a clear, easy to use website that consolidates this information. The website will provide services such as: First Home Owners Grant advice Stamp Duty Concession advice Shared Equity houses on offer National Rental Affordability scheme houses and eligibility Suburb by suburb data on house and land prices Links to the Government s affordable lending office, Keystart Links to community housing providers. This will provide a place for first home buyers to source reliable, consistent advice when making the biggest financial decision they may ever make. 6

7 Our Record The Liberals have a strong record in government, having: Launched Western Australia s first ever Affordable Housing Strategy, setting an ambitious target of 20,000 new affordable homes by 2020, and delivering 7,600 of these within two years. In the last four years of the previous Labor Government, there were 3,811 social houses built. In the four years of the Liberal-led Government there has been 5,314 social houses built more than 1500 more social houses for people in WA. Relaxed eligibility requirements for the Government s low deposit finance lender, Keystart, allowing more people to access finance who would have been otherwise unable. Initiated the Housing Authority s Golden Bay development to provide 1,750 lots with house and land packages starting from less than $300, dwellings completed under the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS), construction started on another 1,100, and funding for an additional 1,000 committed in to bring Western Australia s commitment to 6,000 dwellings by 2016 Assisted 30,727 people through bond loans. 2,891 households who could not otherwise access finance, helped to purchase a home through Keystart Home Loans. Partnered with the private sector to contract 912 new entry level affordable homes, with 406 completed and 322 under construction, creating over $700m in economic activity for the State*. Assisted 434 households to purchase a home through the SharedStart program. Sales have been largely to people with average annual incomes of $66,000 for families and $55,000 for singles, with homes averaging $200,000 below the Perth property median price. 7

8 Delivered 3,690 new social houses for people with very low incomes and no other viable housing choices. Committed $130 million additional funding for a further 433 social houses in the State Budget. Committed to 448 additional houses to be delivered by community housing growth providers, with nine already completed and a further 136 under construction. Created a new Housing Pathways Unit established to help ineligible public housing tenants secure alternative options - with 1,554 public houses freed up and reallocated. Boosted remote indigenous communities housing by constructing 266 houses and refurbishing another 855. Providing $204.8 million additional funding over four years for housing and support services for 455 people with high support needs, with 183 houses currently completed and a further 46 under construction. 8

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