Housing Minister John Carey rules out plan to offload derelict homes to not-for-profit sector in Geraldton
The ownership of just one public housing property was offered to a Mid West not-for-profit organisation, the housing minister says, after Geraldton’s mayor slammed the State Government for trying to “offload” its derelict stock.
Ahead of his meeting last month with Labor MP and Housing Minister John Carey, City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said local community housing groups had come to him worried, saying they had been contacted by the State Government to take over boarded-up public housing properties in Spalding.
At the time, a Department of Communities spokesperson on behalf of the minister said they were “not aware” of any “current proposals” that would see the ownership of Government-owned assets transferred to the not-for-profit sector.
Mr Carey said he understood a single vacant property under the Community Housing and Crisis Accommodation program in Geraldton had been offered to a community housing organisation, but it was declined and the property had since been managed by the State Welfare Incident Coordination Centre.
“I’m always open to proposals,” Mr Carey said. “But I’m not going to be doing mass transfers or transfers where they are not ready.”
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Representatives from both Murchison Region Aboriginal Corporation and Community Housing Limited, the only two non-government organisations providing social housing in the region, said they had not spoken with the mayor recently or expressed any concern the State Government was trying to transfer ownership of any derelict properties to their organisations.
Red Earth Property Group regional development manager Fleur Jackson, who was appointed by the company to expand the operations of Red Earth Property Group and its community housing arm throughout the Mid West, said she had spoken with Mr Van Styn but had not raised concerns with him about the State Government proposal.
Contracts for two new homes in the Mid West-Gascoyne region have been awarded for construction under the Social Housing Economic Recovery Package.
Refurbishments have been completed or begun on a further 15 properties in the region, while six public housing properties are in planning or construction.
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