I hope that look on Minister for Housing, Peter Tinley’s face above isn’t about winging it at today’s media conference to launch “Bentley 360”, the City of Canning’s premium new precinct. Under tough media questioning he’s just announced there will be “no net loss of public housing” in the largest remodelled infill project in Perth!
Given that the site housed circa 450 state govt-owned homes, from stand-alone to terrace housing, small apartment blocks to giant towers until recently, that equates to a whopping 30% of the expected new 1500 homes being for those on the lowest of incomes!
Go Minister Tinley! His declaration smashes the State’s target that 1 in 9 new houses built with its involvement be “affordable housing”.
(It will probably pan out to be “smart partnerships across the government, private sector and not-for-profit organisations”, which means state housing, shared-equity or Keystart opportunities and community partnerships will be the go – but there is also the unexpected boom in the construction industry in provision of housing for people with disabilities, thanks to the NDIS coming online. Mr Tinley was quoted recently as saying ” disability housing is hard to do”. Not anymore, Minister!)
Minister’s media release on Bentley 360 HERE
Mr Tinley faced a few surprises of his own at the media conference, being asked why the twin towers, refurbished at huge cost from 2005 to 2010, were being knocked down eight years later (more to come).
Then there’s the question mark hanging over the first portion of land from the area sold off – theoretically – to a small but savvy developer that seems to have wrested control from the City of Canning and it remains unclear if the City has even been paid the $7m it was promised in 2016.
The Minister was diplomatic on the issue – but Canning has a serious problem on its hands (more to come).
There is one more fly in the ointment here – the housing of the future is contingent on the City of Canning finally releasing the reserves its holds in the area back to the state.
It’s why Ministers Tinley and Saffioti are being very complimentary about a local govt, and especially a set of councillors who played no real role in this redevelopment, nor were known to treat those who lived on the site as residents, rather than just the publicly housed (sole exception former, now returned Councillor Graham Barry).
They’d really, really like those reserves now please!
Three CEOs, and four sets of councils (if you include two sets of commissioners appointed to Canning whilst it was under suspension) have dragged these negotiations out for YEARS, one way or another and the latest CEO, Arthur Kyron, took it back to square one.
At the time of today’s media conference, negotiations still haven’t concluded.