A Perth real estate agency has pledged up to $500 for every property it sells to help thousands of vulnerable West Australians amid what is being described as a ‘housing crisis’ in the state.
North Perth-based MiCasa Property Boutique will donate $250 for each property sale between $400,000 and $750,000 and $500 for sales in excess of $751,000 to Fremantle homeless service St Patrick’s Community Support Centre.
The centre has been providing emergency relief, crisis and transitional housing, meals and health services for the homeless and those at risk of homelessness for more than 40 years.
Last year alone, the charity provided accommodation for 237 people, helped 1406 people with emergency relief and served more than 37,000 meals. It also provided free clothing, showers and toiletries, as well as health and dental appointments for the city’s most vulnerable.
MiCasa managing director Renee Broadway said the giving initiative acknowledged WA’s housing crisis and the rising rate of homelessness across Perth.
“You only need to look at the statistics and the growing rate of homelessness in WA, which is increasing horrifically, to know agencies like St Pat’s need our support. There are around 9000 people in the state who are currently homeless,” Ms Broadway said.
“We’re very familiar with the work that St Pat’s does, not just in Fremantle but for clients all over Perth. And for us in real estate, we’ve been through the last 12 to 18 months and seen both tenants and landlords in critical financial hardship.”
St Patrick’s Community Support Centre chief executive Michael Piu said the organisation was extremely grateful for MiCasa’s generosity and the donations would help support more vulnerable people in the community.
“2021 is turning out to be a challenging year,” Mr Piu said. “In some senses, ít is even proving to be more trying than 2020.
“The combined impacts of people streaming back to WA to live and the end of the pandemic rental controls have contributed to increasing rents and record low vacancy rates, rivalling that of the last mining boom.
“We are already seeing this play out in the number of people looking for assistance through our day centre where we have seen a 25% increase in demand for some of our services, so community support such as this is vital for us to be able to service our clients. We are very thankful to Mi Casa and all of our wonderful community supporters.’’
A collective of community charities including Shelter WA, Anglicare WA and Centrecare have established a Housing Emergency Response group to lobby the WA government to work with them to mitigate the impact of the state’s housing crisis.
“This housing crisis demands a whole of government response and we are keen to work with the new McGowan government building on initiatives put in place in response to the pandemic,” Shelter WA chief executive Michelle Mackenzie said.
“The immediate priority must be supporting people to remain in their rental homes and ensuring people who have had to leave their rental home are not exiting into homelessness.”
A rental affordability report released by Anglicare in April found that low income earners across Australia could be on the verge of homelessness due to the dire lack of affordable rental homes.
In addition, the Salvation Army has resorted to paying car registrations for homeless West Australians so they have somewhere to sleep at night, with the charity reportedly contributing towards 342 car registrations between March and June this year – a 90% increase on the same period last year.
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