Opposition calls for action as regional housing cuts for government workers hit Great Southern

Headshot of Sarah Makse
Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Shadow housing minister Steve Martin.
Camera IconShadow housing minister Steve Martin. Credit: Tom Shanahan/ Great Southern Herald

Housing available for government workers in the Great Southern has decreased by 40 homes in the past four years amid a loss of 271 properties Statewide in the same period.

Under the Government Regional Officer’s Housing Scheme, 217 people were requesting a home in order to work in regional WA as of June 30, it was revealed in State Parliament this month.

Eighty-eight of these workers were from the Department of Education and 59 from the WA Police Force. There are 5040 GROH properties in WA but 271 properties have been lost since 2017.

The Great Southern has seen an 18 per cent drop in these homes, with 226 houses remaining.

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Shadow housing minister Steve Martin said he had received reports staff were travelling back to Perth on weekends from regional areas because they had no accommodation.

“With rental vacancy rates reaching 0.5 per cent in Albany only a few months ago, government employees are struggling to find adequate accommodation,” Mr Martin said.

“Without government support, staff are having to resort to desperate measures as they have nowhere else to go.

“The Government is also purchasing from the private market to prop up the GROH scheme, which is only putting further strain on an already tight housing market.

“Without GROH and essential staff, communities in regional WA will struggle to access basic services.”

Mr Martin is calling on the State Government to commit funding to ensure those on the waitlist could secure a GROH property.

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