Project needs State funds

Saskia AdystiGreat Southern Herald

The Great Southern Housing Initiative project has received $10 million funding from the Federal Government, but this could all go to waste if the project did not receive the required support from the State Government.

Local governments in the Great Southern region have collaborated under the GSHI project to build more than 70 units for seniors and regional workers throughout Broomehill-Tambellup, Cranbrook, Gnowangerup, Jerramungup, Katanning, Kent, Kojonup, Plantagenet and Woodanilling districts.

However this project could not proceed without funding from the State Government, which is reviewing all agreements made under Royalties for Regions.

The project is designed to tackle a housing market failure in the area and keep residents and key workers living within their regional local communities and support local business.

Apart from major towns such Albany and Denmark, there’s a striking housing market failure in these small regional towns because it costs more to build a house than to sell it. The project will address the housing market failure by supplying contemporary leaseholds accommodation units which will generate social and economic benefits in the region.

Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson said good quality housing was a major attraction to lure skilled workers to small regional towns.

“When regional shires are looking to hire employees for workforce gaps that can’t be filled locally, either in the public or the private sector, quality housing is important in attracting skilled people to small towns,” he said.

“The lack of financial return on building new properties, however, limits the incentive for investment and has created a shortage in suitable accommodation.”

Local governments will have to wait for the State Govern-ment’s response before they can finalise any funding agreement.

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