The rollout of the McGowan Government’s Social Housing Economic Recovery Plan (SHERP) is gaining momentum, with community housing providers now able to apply for regional maintenance grants to improve housing for some of Western Australia’s most vulnerable people.
Under the community housing grants program, eligible providers can apply for a maintenance package of up to $20,000 per country region. Each package may be spent across multiple community housing properties.
Funded through the State Government’s $319 million SHERP package, the grants program covers a wide range of potential works such as replacing gutters, servicing ovens and hot water systems, fixing fences, replacing damaged kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and replacing damaged flooring.
Announced in June 2020, SHERP is the largest housing maintenance and refurbishment program in WA’s history. It will see the refurbishment of up to 1,500 public and community houses, supported accommodation facilities such as family and domestic violence refuges, and residential group homes.
SHERP includes a rolling maintenance program for up to 3,800 regional government-owned properties. It will also see the delivery of up to 250 new social homes across metropolitan and regional areas to help the most vulnerable people in our community.
The SHERP program is being delivered in concurrence with the $150 million Housing and Homelessness Package and the $394 million METRONET Social and Affordable Housing and Job Package.
Community housing providers have until February 1, 2021 to submit their applications for the $1.5 million maintenance grants program.
It is expected that the successful applicants will begin receiving funds in late April 2021.
As stated by Housing Minister Peter Tinley:
“The McGowan Government recognises the importance and significant contribution the community housing sector plays in providing stable, affordable housing for Western Australians on low incomes.
“We are currently investing almost $1 billion into modernising and future-proofing the State’s social housing infrastructure, and it is terrific to see the SHERP program starting to make an impact in the community.
“The housing stock we inherited was old and not fit for purpose. Many public housing properties were either nearing their end of life or beyond, requiring significant and constant maintenance and repair, so I am pleased to see this now being fixed.
“It is critical that social housing provides liveable, modern homes for tenants.”