Social housing spend in WA budget ‘needed’

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Social housing will be among the beneficiaries of Western Australia’s robust financial position.

Premier Mark McGowan announced on Sunday that Thursday’s state budget will include $875 million for the sector, which has been a sore point for successive WA governments.

“One of the things we know is needed out there is more social housing,” he told reporters.

“There are lots of people out there who for various reasons – disabilities, they’re ageing, they might have suffered from domestic violence, they might be down on their luck – that need public housing.”

The commitment is planned to address both short-term projects and pipeline construction, to help deliver about 3300 social homes over the next four years.

“My government is using our strong budget surplus to deliver record funding to expand and modernise social housing in Western Australia to support vulnerable Western Australians,” Mr McGowan said in a statement.

“Our $875 million social housing package is the single largest one-off investment in social housing in the state’s history.”

It takes the total of his Labor government’s social housing commitment over the next four years to more than $2.1 billion.

Mr McGowan also confirmed Thursday’s budget will include $1 billion for the next financial year for WA’s management of COVID-19.

The spending will go to sectors including health, police and enforcement.

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