Public housing

Waiting time for WA priority public housing jumps to a year, and it’s worse in the regions

The average wait time for priority public housing in WA is around a year, but for young mother Sheneya Tucker it was three times longer.

Ms Tucker has spent more than three years on the priority waiting list and fears she won’t have a home anytime soon.

The latest figures from the Department for Communities reveal that there are 611 applications on the waiting list for the Deep South, which is up by more than 13% compared to the same period last year.

Overwhelming stress

Ms Tucker, 23, works two jobs and has temporary accommodation at a local backpacker hostel in Albany.

For now, her two young children are living with a parent in more stable housing.

“It stresses me out, it’s not a good feeling not being able to be with my kids,” she said.

Since her first application for social housing, Ms Tucker said her situation had gradually declined.

Ms Tucker said she had informed the Department for Communities of the changes to her situation, but felt there was no urgency to get her help.

“I have no idea what’s next, I’m just trying to take it week in and week out.”

Pivot Support Services CEO Ian Neil said there was still a lot to do, but it would take time.(ABC Great Southern: Tim Wong-See)

Desperate need for change

CEO of Pivot Support Services, an Albany-based charity, Ian Neil, said he was not surprised by the numbers.

“We need a significant amount of well-designed and well-supported social housing,” he said.

Mr Neil said the housing crisis was a direct result of the government not doing more to alleviate the situation sooner.

A spokesman for the Department of Communities said most social housing applicants had a roof over their heads while waiting to be housed.

“Communities provide multiple pathways, including public rental housing, to those who cannot obtain adequate and appropriate housing through the private sector,” the spokesperson said.

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