Disability housing: Funding - Questions


590. Hon LYNN MacLAREN to the Minister for Disability Services:

I refer to funding for disability housing in the 2011–12 state budget, which is due to cease in June 2014.
(1) What new provisions does the state government have in place to replace this funding?
(2) Does the minister acknowledge the restricted opportunities for people with disabilities to own their own home or to enjoy extended tenure and achieve satisfactory housing solutions within their usually very limited financial means?
(3) Does demand for housing, specifically universal access and modified homes, continue to outstrip supply in Western Australia?
(4) Will the state government develop an overarching state policy that will offer innovative and affordable housing solutions for people with disabilities?

Hon HELEN MORTON replied:

I thank the member for some notice of the question. It also gives me an opportunity to indicate how successful an aspect of the previous decision around housing that continues today has been.
(1) In 2011–12, the state government provided $95.7 million over three years to build and buy 169 homes to provide capacity for 340 people with disability to have a home. Although many housing projects have been completed and 209 people have moved into their homes, the impact of new properties becoming available to people with disability continues into 2014–15 as other projects are completed.
(2) Yes, there are issues of people with disability who may have reduced capacity to earn income. This is a limitation that reduces the opportunities for people with disability to have their own home. That is why in 2011–12 the state government provided $95.7 million in capital funding for houses for people with disability and has committed $9 million over four years from July 2014 to provide more suitable accommodation or support options for younger people with disability residing in or at risk of entering an aged-care facility.
(3) The state government has placed a strong emphasis on the development of homes that meet universal access standards in both the public and private housing sectors. The Liveable Homes project is successfully promoting and supporting the construction of homes with universal access design standards throughout all segments of the housing market.
(4) The issue of housing for people with disability is on a national agenda brought into focus by the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The Disability Services Commission and the Department of Housing are engaged with the National Disability Insurance Agency on consideration of the impact of the NDIS on demand for housing for people with disability. This is a key issue that needs to be addressed prior to the development of a state-level policy. In 2013, the Disability Services Commission provided a grant to National Disability Services WA to examine a range of issues associated with housing for people with disability. This work was undertaken by Curtin University and included contributions from a wide range of stakeholders. I will soon receive a report on the outcomes of the research in a briefing from the Disability Services Commission and the Department of Housing.