Shadow Housing and Works Minister John McGrath is concerned the State Government will be seriously caught short with the launch of the National Rental Affordability Scheme.
“The Carpenter Government has not set any Budget funding aside for this project despite the scheme being part of Kevin Rudd’s election commitments,” Mr McGrath said.
The National Rental Affordability Scheme will see Commonwealth, State and Territory governments providing incentives (cash or in kind) to develop low income rental accommodation.
The expectation is this will create 50,000 new rental properties by 2012 at a cost of $622 million.
Mr McGrath queried State Housing and Works Minister, Michelle Roberts, about the proposal during Budget Estimates two months ago and was told:
“The scheme has not yet been formulated with us or agreed to by us, so we have not made an allocation at this time.”
Minister for Housing and Works, 22 May 2008
“The question remains, why was money not allocated to this scheme in this year’s Budget, especially given soaring rents in WA?” Mr McGrath said.
“Given that the closure for this year’s funding allocation is in September, the Minister must immediately clarify if she has agreed to the scheme and found funding.
“The public needs to know how much funding is available and in what form.
“Minister Roberts must also clarify what advertising is being conducted to make those in the industry aware of the scheme and the positive flow-on effects for the rental market.
“Considering it is an ALP policy, it defies belief that this Minister is so ill-prepared for a scheme that can alleviate soaring rental prices, especially in Western Australia’s over-heated market,.
“WA’s Labor Government has again failed to plan for the future of our rental housing market.”