A social housing taskforce is to be established to review the acute shortage of public housing in Western Australia and to come up with innovative strategies for addressing the problem.
A social housing taskforce is to be established to review the acute shortage of public housing in the state and to come up with innovative strategies for addressing the problem.
Housing and Works Minister Troy Buswell said the taskforce, to be chaired by Anglicare chief executive Ian Carter, would include representatives of community bodies, industry groups and local government.
It would be asked to report to Mr Buswell by June 30 2009 on new ways to approach the provision of social housing in order to achieve an aspirational target of 20,000 additional dwellings by 2020.
Mr Buswell said the taskforce would be asked to specifically examine national and international models for financing and delivering social housing which could be applied in WA.
"Some positive action to deal with the situation should have been in train long before this but the previous government sat on its hands," he said.
"The waiting list for public housing now exceeds 19,000 and continues to climb at the rate of at least a couple of hundred a month.The number of new dwellings coming on-stream is considerably less than the rate at which people are joining the list.
"The result is that we are falling further and further behind."
Mr Buswell said he foresaw a need for increased participation of community agencies, not for profit organisations, local government and the private sector in the provision and management of social housing.
He said the time could well come when the State's chief role was providing partnership based funding and filtering and referring clients to external providers for public housing.
"There are some brilliant examples of this that are operating in other parts of the world.We need to learn from them and to apply the knowledge to establish a new model for WA because the system we have currently is never going to be able to meet future needs," the Minister said.