“Western Australians are still struggling to find affordable housing,” said Shadow Minister for Housing Steve Martin MLC.

“The Alliance have been calling for increased support for into housing since the start of the housing crisis.

“Now that the Government have respond to our calls, it’s time to make sure that the funding goes to the areas and people who need it most.”

In yesterday’s Budget, the state government committed $31.4 million to purchase private dwellings in attempts to increase the public housing stock through a process known as ‘spot purchasing’.

However, a recent question asked in Parliament by Mr Martin revealed that the Government had purchased just 143 properties using these provisions.

None were purchased in the Wheatbelt, just 1 in the Goldfields and only 8 in the Midwest.

“The number of people on the public housing waitlist has grown by 38% since June 2020,” said Mr Martin.

“The government have a lot of catching up to do to get anywhere near meeting the needs of the people waiting for social housing – particularly in regional WA.

“The rental vacancy rate in the country is just over 1% and has been hovering there since mid-2020.

“On top of this, builders can’t find staff to construct homes and supply chain delays mean existing builds are being pushed back.

“The funding for spot purchasing is an opportunity for the government to ensure that newly acquired homes go to the areas that need them the most.”