On 7 June 2020, the Western Australian Government announced a housing stimulus package with an estimated value of $444 million to aid the state’s COVID-19 economic recovery.
As part of this stimulus, the Department of Communities is leading the delivery of a $319 million Social Housing Economic Recovery Package (SHERP).
The SHERP represents a significant government investment in a pipeline of works, targeted at social housing, to support the WA construction industry through to 2023 while improving the lifespan and quality of homes available for social housing.
Communities is delivering the SHERP across three workstreams:
- Workstream 1: $97 million to build or buy (off-the-plan) up to 250 new social housing properties across metropolitan and regional areas. A portion of the homes purchased off the plan may be offered for sale through Communities’ affordable housing program.
- Workstream 2: $142 million to refurbish up to 1500 existing public and supported residential houses and community housing properties.
- Workstream 3: $80 million for targeted maintenance programs for up to 3800 regional social housing properties—including within remote Aboriginal communities—and subsidised housing for regional government workers.
It is expected approximately 1700 jobs will be supported through the SHERP’s delivery, with at least 780 of these jobs in regional areas. Additionally, $660 million in economic activity is expected to be generated across the state, with $300 million of this in regional and remote areas.
Recognising the profound impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the most vulnerable in our community, Communities anticipates that the majority of new housing delivered through the SHERP will be made available to people on the state’s social housing priority waitlist.
The refurbishment stream will also seek opportunities to target deteriorated supported accommodation such as refuges, residential group homes for children in care, and supported disability accommodation (group homes).
The refurbishment and maintenance activity undertaken through the SHERP will enhance the liveability of social housing properties, providing greater comfort for residents and, where possible, will see improvements to the sustainability and accessibility of properties.
Communities will be driving inclusive employment opportunities through the SHERP, including exploring strategies to better support local employment outcomes for Aboriginal people, people with disability, women and youth.