A Call For Change As Promises To Build Social Housing Fail To Deliver

new townhomes in Western Australia
OIC fremantle townhouses at marmion-carrington photo by Orderinchaos is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
New housing in Western Australia isn't built to help people who are homeless to leave the streets.

The government of Western Australia recently announced plans to build 15,000 units of green social housing units as part of its COVID-19 recovery strategy.1 From this side of the world, this seemed nothing short of amazing. And as the article below attests, two people who work in Western Australia offer some reasons to doubt the announcement.

Megan Krakouer and Gerry Georgatos are deeply involved in suicide prevention work in Western Australia. By their estimates, which draw on census information, the state needs 15,000 more units.

Why aren’t they excited? As Krakouer and Georgatos point out, the government has promised units in the past, but they haven’t been built. Overall, the total number of social housing units in Western Australia has been going down, not up. Read more in the National Indigenous Times: Street-present homelessness growing as public housing remains stagnant

Here are two thoughts from this story for people who are working to build more social housing:

  • When an announcement at a distance sounds too good to be true, it’s a good idea to look for other stories to get a balanced picture of what’s going on. The internet can help in this task, as this article demonstrates.
  • It’s helpful to have reliable data at hand for the time when you are the one to challenge the “good news” perspective.

Footnotes

  1. Try: WA COVID-19 Recovery Plans Include Green Social Housing