Construction of 20 new State homes set to begin in Albany amid rental crisis

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
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Albany’s 0.5 per cent rental vacancy rate is the lowest in WA.
Camera IconAlbany’s 0.5 per cent rental vacancy rate is the lowest in WA. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Twenty public homes are set to be built in the City of Albany in the coming months as the city’s public housing waitlist surpassed 450 at the end of February, according to the Department of Communities.

Albany’s 0.5 per cent rental vacancy rate is the lowest in WA, with families living in caravans and piling into relatives’ homes while they search for a place to call home in a fiercely competitive market.

The rental battle comes as the public housing waitlist hit 456 general applications at the end of February, of which 87 were priority.

Wait times averaged about 2.5 years and 50 weeks for priority applicants.

Of the 911 public housing properties in the Albany area, 46 were vacant, according to the department.

In June, the State Government announced an overhaul of its public and community housing properties with 250 new homes to be built and thousands to receive vital maintenance works across the State.

Department executive director service delivery Lindsay Hale said as part of that roll out, two new homes would be built in Albany and five in Katanning in the coming months.

Under the State Government’s Housing and Homelessness Investment Plan, announced in 2019, another 18 public homes are scheduled to be built in the City in the coming months.

“Refurbishments have commenced on six properties in Albany and four in Katanning,” he said.

“One refurbishment has been completed to date in Katanning. This work is being undertaken by two local businesses and the work is valued at more than $1 million.”

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