We are now into the second quarter of 2021 and housing availability and affordability remains a major concern for both small business and the community in general.
In the 2021 Annual Community Survey, we asked what the most important thing the City needs to focus on over the next 12 months, and housing was overwhelmingly highlighted as the number one issue.
Housing is not usually the responsibility of local government, but little is being done by the State Government so council has determined that it must do what it can to ensure our community has access to quality and affordable housing.
We are particularly concerned with the lack of affordable housing for those on incomes in the $40,000 to $90,000 wage bracket, for whom the current average rental price puts the tenants under major economic stress.
The City has been in constant communication with Development WA (DWA - previously LandCorp), our major resource companies, the banks, developers and builders to identify how we can get movement in the housing sector.
We have surveyed all the vacant land around Karratha in an effort to get these lots on the market and built upon. We are building 11 houses on land we own ourselves and have subdivided our land in Hancock Way which has resulted in 21 blocks that will be put on the market in the second half of this year.
We are also considering possible new subdivisions within the current built-up area, such as the vacant land in the Shakespeare Precinct in Bulgarra and development in the CBD.
DWA has released some larger blocks of land on the west side of Baynton West, many of which have sold quickly, and will soon make a second release.
There has been an improvement. So far in the 20/21 Financial Year, the City has approved 37 Building Permits for Dwellings, compared to only 7 and 3 approved in the two previous financial years.
We also are aware of some bunches of new approvals to come in soon: things are moving in the right direction, but we have a long way to go.