Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

New Housing Agreement Signed With Western Australian

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today announced that the new five-year individual agreement under the Commonwealth State Housing Agreement (CSHA) had been signed with the Western Australian Government.

Senator Patterson said the Australian Government would provide almost half a billion dollars over the life of the agreement (2003-2008) signed with Western Australian Minister for Housing and Works, Nick Griffith.

“The Australian Government has allocated $4.75 billion nationally for the CSHA to help some of society’s most vulnerable people get into safe, affordable public housing.

“The signing of this agreement gives the Western Australian Government five years of financial certainty to provide housing. It is this long- term commitment that allows it to get on with the job of helping those most in need.

“I am also pleased to note this CSHA features indexation for the first time.

“The funding will assist people on low incomes in need of urgent housing, including those who are at risk of homelessness, in crisis or otherwise unable to obtain appropriate housing in the private rental market.”

Key features of the Western Australian agreement are:

  • to maintain public and community housing sectors;
  • to improve housing opportunities for Indigenous people;
  • to promote innovative approaches to provide additional resources into public and community housing;
  • to ensure housing assistance supports social and economic participation; and
  • to improve links between housing, and support services across government and non-government sectors.

“The new CSHA signed last year includes a new and innovative aspect that encourages states and territories to attract funding from the private and corporate sector to help with the cost of public housing.

“This not only gets state and territory governments to think more laterally about how they can best meet the housing needs of people, importantly it also provides more funding that can be put to good use.

“The signing of the agreement with Western Australia is another example of the Australian Government working with state and territory governments to provide affordable and secure housing options and better housing opportunities for Australians in need,” Senator Patterson said.