10 Mar 2021 Media Releases, Rights for Renters, Social Housing

The Greens (WA ) have slammed the WA Labor’s Housing Minister for callous remarks made yesterday denying the housing crisis.

In an interview on ABC WA Drive yesterday, Housing Minister Peter Tinley denied the housing crisis and instead tried to pass it off as an “economic boom”.

“These comments are cruel, callous and symptomatic of a government that tries to ignore the issues and narratives it cannot control,” Mr Clifford said.

“There is simply no denying WA is experiencing a housing crisis. The Minister knows WA is experiencing a crisis — he’s seen the data, he’s heard from constituents. How he can stand up and blatantly deny this is beyond me.

“Under WA Labor, at least 1155 public homes have been lost and not replaced, there are nearly 25,000 waiting 2 years for a home on the social housing waitlist, and more than 9000 experiencing homeless on any given night — and this was all before COVID. Now we’re experiencing an historic rental squeeze and in 3 weeks tenants will once again be evicted without grounds and rents are expected to hike by 20%. The housing crisis will only get far worse.

“The Minister demonstrated a total lack of empathy for the thousands of Western Australians who are unsure they will have a place to call home in a few weeks’ time.

“In a survey undertaken by my office, only a third of renters are very confident they won’t be evicted when the moratorium ends. And two thirds are paying more than 30% of income on rent, leaving them at risk of housing stress.

“WA needs immediate action. The moratorium must be extended until the Government can legislate fair pricing mechanisms and a ban on no-grounds evictions. There must also be a commitment of at least 15, 000 new low-carbon homes over 3 years and additional support to tenancy and homelessness services to meet demand.

“This is the most popular government Western Australia has had for some time, they have a real opportunity to make change in people’s lives but instead they put their heads in the sand. It’s just like the climate crisis. This government thinks that if you ignore something it’ll go away.”

Transcript of comments

Andrew Collins ABC: ‘What’s your assessment and do you agree with ShelterWA that we’re experiencing a crisis right now?’

Minister Tinley: ‘No. What we’re experiencing is, quite frankly, an economic boom.’

Preliminary data from rental survey

For the past few weeks, the Office of Tim Clifford has collected stories from renters on their experiences of the final month of the moratorium. Preliminary data tells a story of power imbalances, eviction threats, affordable housing shortages and a general lack of support.

  • 66.4% of respondents are paying more than 30% of income on rent and are at risk of housing stress
  • Of those looking for a property almost 60% were encouraged to rent bid and 67% have been unable to find property that was affordable or met requirements
  • Only 36% of respondents are very confident they won’t be evicted.
  • 45% have been told their rent will increase when the moratorium ends and 20% still are not sure

Media contact: Talitha Wolfe, 0432 283 988