Australian first for WA renters

The Western Australian Government is doing its bit for housing affordability, with a groundbreaking plan to increase rental properties in the inner city by 2011.

The plan, which is believed to be an Australian first, has been backed by the private sector.

Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan has today announced that four sites in Northbridge will be developed, with the potential to provide at least 85 long-term rental units. It is anticipated the rentals will be available in 2011.

Two developers – Golden Sea Property Development and Heyspring Land – have purchased the land from the State Government and will develop it into new housing, bound by a contract of sale that ensures the residential component is maintained as dedicated rental housing for a minimum of 10 years.
Ms MacTiernan says the plan shows the WA Government is taking a multi-layered approach to the issue of housing affordability.
“The long-term rental model is a terrific example of how the government and private sector can work together to improve the supply of rental housing,” she says.

“We believe there’s a niche market in long-term property for investors such as superannuation funds and property trusts to take on these sites, which combine rental income and capital growth over the medium to long-term – and the substantial response we received to the Expressions of Interest (EOI) process confirmed this.”

The Government is now looking for similar sites in and around the city to replicate this model, as well as sites in regional areas where there’s a need for increased rental supply.
REIWA president Rob Druitt says the model offers affordable, accessible accommodation, particularly for those who need to live, study or work close to the city.

“This partnership between private funds and Government provides a win-win outcome for the city and for those tenants who will benefit from it,” Mr Druitt says.

“It helps bring the necessary social diversity to the heart of the city, as well as providing an inner city lifestyle to those who might not otherwise afford it.”

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