A Western Australian housing body has released a new report in the hopes it will stimulate reforms to deal with the state's current housing shortage in resource boom towns.
Shelter WA this week released a report, The Impact of Fly-In/Fly-Out on Housing Affordability in Western Australia, which looks into the affordability and accessibility of housing in these areas.
Acting executive officer of Shelter WA Dr Shae Garwood said: “Shelter WA recognises that housing has become unaffordable in many regional resource towns in WA, causing significant housing stress for people working in local businesses and community services in these communities.”
The report reveals that some regional resource towns have experienced dramatic increases in housing costs, which have pushed low and moderate income households out of housing and out of the area.
For example, it reports the median house sale price was $860,000 in Port Hedland and $687,500 in Karratha in June 2013. Both were well above the current Perth median price of $515,000 for the same period.
As a result, there have been rental market failures in some areas, leading to long-term residents being pushed out of the housing market - and this has been the cause of some community crisis in some places.
“The report recommends reforming planning processes, gathering accurate data on the FIFO workforce to better allocate resources to local governments, and increasing investment in social and affordable housing," Ms Garwood said.
“Together, these actions will increase housing affordability for low and moderate income households in resource communities in WA.”
Ms Garwood said Shelter WA had sent the report to key stakeholders and had also made it available on its website.
“We hope to stimulate discussion about solutions to address the affordable housing crisis in regional resource towns in WA," she said.
“If implemented, these recommendations would result in a planning process that encourages development across the housing continuum, local governments that are better resourced and more involved in supporting affordable housing in their communities, and an increase in social and affordable housing to meet the diverse needs of people in regional WA.”