Access Housing CEO Garry Ellender today discussed the state of affordable housing in the South West Metropolitan area at a Fremantle Homelessness Interagency Working Group (FHIWG) breakfast forum.
Hosted by MercyCare, the forum was an opportunity for community service sector and government agency employees to hear the perspectives of WA’s two largest community housing providers on the future of social and affordable housing in the South West Metropolitan area.
Mr Ellender (pictured) discussed Access Housing’s strategic priorities, current challenges and opportunities in the affordable housing sector and the company’s vision for community housing in the South West Metropolitan area. Whist recognising the important role of Government, he said that housing affordability and homelessness was a whole of community problem requiring responses from all sectors of the community. He also urged the Department of Housing to use a portion of its recent State Budget allocation to leverage private and NFP sector capital to deliver significantly more than 1,000 new social housing dwellings over the next two years.
“Instead of using money to build and buy assets, if it (money) is applied as a development incentive – for example a WA designed NRAS – you could potentially quadruple the supply and deliver more than 4,000 dwellings,” Mr Ellender said.
The Fremantle Homelessness Interagency Working Group was established in 2012 and its membership includes key State Government, Local Government and non-government agencies operating within the Fremantle region. It aims to bring the accommodation and supportive housing service sector together to share information, strengthen communication and relationships with a focus on building opportunities for developing partnerships, collaboration and innovative service delivery and focus attention on local and broader service system issues and gaps in the homelessness sector.
Access Housing currently has 125 properties/leasable areas in the City of Fremantle that accommodate a range of tenants including, but not limited to, people living with a disability and tenants engaged with the Independent Living Program.