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Affordable city housing ‘a must’

AFFORDABLE housing must be included in city housing developments if a balanced and vibrant community is to be created and a closeted community for the wealthy avoided.

According to City Housing development officer Hans Gerritsen, about two-thirds of the people working in the central business district could not afford to live there.

“We need affordable housing because it gives the opportunity to anyone who works in the city to live in the city as well,” Mr Gerritson said.

“About 50,000 people who work in the CBD earn less than $31,000 and can not afford to buy or lease an inner property.

“Developers are building properties that lease for about $200 to $300 a week, and these people can’t afford it.”

Mr Gerritson said local and State governments had a big role to play in encouraging developers to build lower-priced properties.

Those who did include affordable housing in their developments could be granted tax incentives or extra plot ratios from the City of Perth, he said.

Housing Minister Tom Stephens said moderately priced housing could become a reality if all involved worked together to lower costs.

Inner City Housing Development Association president Derwent Southern said while affordable housing could be created by developers stripping back comfort features, a revision of government legislation for plot ratios was first needed.

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