Housing refurb package sparks Nats to speak out

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Geoff VivianMidwest Times
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North West Central member Vince Catania said many Carnarvon houses like this were vacant because they were uninhabitable.
Camera IconNorth West Central member Vince Catania said many Carnarvon houses like this were vacant because they were uninhabitable. Credit: Supplied

A Carnarvon duplex is the first WA property to be refurbished under the WA Government’s $319 million social housing economic recovery package amid claims boarded-up homes and uninhabitable properties are proof the town is a victim of government neglect.

Housing Minister Peter Tinley said Carnarvon Cabinet Makers did the work on the revamped duplex, which supported the employment of five apprentices, and two “vulnerable families” would be able to move in before Christmas.

However North West Central member Vince Catania said there had been “no significant investment in housing” over the past four years.

“There are boarded-up houses in ‘hotspots’ within Carnarvon, many left empty and deteriorating and many well past their use-by dates,” the Nationals MP said.

“Some at-risk families, youth and others in the community don’t have access to adequate housing.”

Mr Catania called for a government visit to Carnarvon to see first-hand the affected areas with boarded-up houses.

“A willingness to have a conversation with community leaders and local residents will confirm how many of the problems could be avoided with a more collaborative Government approach, and a commitment to providing new housing,” he said.

Mr Tinley said his Government’s social housing economic recovery package was the largest housing maintenance and refurbishment program in WA history.

“It will see the refurbishment of up to 1500 public and community houses, supported accommodation facilities such as (family and domestic violence) refuges, and residential group homes,” he said.

“By refurbishing the homes, the Department of Communities can rapidly house vulnerable Western Australians from the public housing wait list without the additional cost and lengthy timeframe involved in replacing properties.”

Mr Tinley said the package included a “rolling maintenance program” for up to 3800 regional government-owned properties.

“It will also see the delivery of up to 250 new social homes across metropolitan and regional areas to help the most vulnerable people in our community,” he said.

Mr Tinley said 1500 social homes, supported accommodation facilities, and residential group homes would be refurbished over the next two years.

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