The City has adopted a Housing Affordability and Diversity Strategy to meet the current and future needs of the City’s residents. The Strategy aims to promote accessible and affordable housing, particularly for low income households. The Strategy is supported by a number of strategic plans.
Housing affordability and diversity is one of the most important issues facing Western Australians. The Housing Affordability and Diversity Strategy responds to the needs of current and future residents of Cockburn. The Strategy guides the housing affordability toolkit and information for residents and developers.
The City has developed a Housing Affordability and Diversity Strategy to address a number of important housing issues. The Strategy aims to address the rising cost of housing and its impact on households, as well as supporting a diversity of housing stock that meets the needs of the current and future population.
The objectives of the Housing Affordability and Diversity Strategy are to provide housing:
- That is appropriate to varying household needs in terms of size, physical attributes and location
- That is affordable to households of varying financial capacity
- That is varied and in locations that have good accessibility to public transport and essential services
- That promotes affordable living, taking into consideration the total cost of living in a dwelling, including energy and water consumption, the price of transport to access employment and essential services, and other daily needs impacted by location.
Housing costs represent 30-40 per cent of household expenditure, and are the single largest driver of financial hardship for low income households in Western Australia. Direct housing costs have increased at a much faster rate than household incomes resulting in many individuals and families being priced out of the market for the foreseeable future.
As well as this, household composition is changing. By 2031 ‘Couples without dependents’ and ‘Lone person households’ will account for 53.6 per cent of all households, yet 53 per cent of dwellings in the City of Cockburn are detached dwellings with four or more bedrooms. More than 81% of dwellings in Cockburn have more than three bedrooms.
The difference between household projections and available housing stock are likely to become more pronounced into the future. The shortage of availability of smaller dwellings throughout the City of Cockburn may result in residents living in housing that does not suit their needs, or residents being forced to buy or rent dwellings that are larger and more costly than they require.
Like many local authorities, the City of Cockburn is facing a significant challenge in supporting housing affordability. Households struggling to pay housing costs are faced with a series of issues including debt, working long hours to cover housing costs, living in overcrowded or substandard housing and sacrificing essentials such as heating, food, medication and education. Housing affordability enables households to pay their housing costs and still have sufficient income to meet other basic needs.
The housing affordability and diversity strategy is set within the context of a number of plans and strategies in Cockburn.
Strategic Community Plan
The Housing Affordability and Diversity Strategy is aligned to the Strategic Community Plan
and aims to:
- Ensure planning facilities a desirable environment and meets growth targets
- Continue revitalisation of older urban areas to cater for population growth and take account of social changes such as changing household types
- Ensure a variation in housing density and housing type is available to residents
Town Planning Scheme No. 3
The City is able to support housing diversity that is accessible through the zoning provisions of the Town Planning Scheme No. 3.
Age Friendly Strategy
Housing affordability and diversity are important issues to older residents of Cockburn, including ageing in place and facilitating affordable and diverse housing options such as retirement and aged care facilities.
Youth Services Strategic Plan
The Housing Affordability and Diversity Strategy recognises the need for greater crisis and transitional housing options for young people.
Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DAIP)
The Strategy reflects a number of key principles outlined in the DAIP, including local community needs and priorities, the diversity of community requirements, inclusive service provision and community consultation.
Status of the Housing Affordability and Diversity Strategy
The Housing Affordability and Diversity Strategy was adopted by Council in 2014. It will be reviewed in 2019.
Town Planning Scheme No. 3