WA State Housing Debt

What difference would $323.6M make to the social and affordable housing system and homelessness services across WA?

This is the magnitude of the housing debt that the WA Government owed to the Commonwealth as of the 30th June 2018.

Shelter WA, in partnership with the Property Council, Urban Development Institute of Australia, Real Estate Institute of Western Australia and the Master Builders Western Australia, has written to all WA Federal Members of Parliament urging them to support the WA Government’s request to the Federal Treasurer to waive Western Australia’s housing debt, on the condition that the WA Government invests any savings towards homelessness and housing affordability issues in WA. Shelter WA is pleased to be working with the property industry on this initiative.

The interest and principle payments that Western Australia pays to the Commonwealth each year on the debt is twice the funding that WA receives each year for specialist homelessness services. Around $15M is received each year through the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement for specialist homelessness services and $35M goes back to the Commonwealth on debt repayments.

Each day specialist homelessness services provide a lifeline to people in need, seeing over 4,000 clients who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Each day the lack of social and affordable housing, and access to services drives more people into housing related poverty.

Reinvestment of these funds into the housing system would make a real difference to people’s lives. This reinvestment will create jobs and economic growth through the building and construction industry and services sector. This is good not just for people but for the broader economy.

We look forward to the response from Western Australia’s representatives in Federal Government, and their support for advocacy at the Federal level to waive WA’s housing debt.

If you would like further information on the WA’s housing debt then please click here.

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