Funding boost to help plug aged housing gap

Bethanie already has approval for the 50-bed development on Queen Victoria Street.

AGED care accommodation in Fremantle has received a boost, with aged care provider Bethanie Housing getting $5 million from the state government to help build 50 new homes for low-income earners.

Bethanie already has approval to build a $24 million complex (it was originally priced at $16m when the application was lodged) next to Toyworld on Queen Victoria Street.

The mix of one and two-bedroom units will be available to over-55s and construction is expected to start later this year.

Downsizing

Bethanie CEO Christopher How said the grant showed support for the state’s ageing population and growing need for housing solutions.

Fremantle and Melville have a critical shortage of downsizing options, meaning older people often have to move far away from friends and support networks.

“We have ensured the apartments are appropriately designed to support ageing in place,” Mr How said.

While Fremantle council initially recommended Bethanie’s application be knocked back as an over-development of the site, mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge welcomed the funding boost.

“We’re delighted to see such a significant investment in social housing in Freo,” Ms Fitzhardinge said.

“We know that our residents, as they age, don’t want to leave the community that supports and sustains them.

“This development will give some of them great options.”

Housing minister John Carey made the announcement as part of a new $39m social housing package, which would lead to 173 new homes.

“The grants will support projects estimated to be worth more than $60m that will deliver new housing for a wide range of individuals and families including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, young people, people with disability, seniors, and women and children leaving family and domestic violence situations,” Mr Carey said.

“It’s great to see such an innovative range of projects funded through the grants program including $5m for Bethanie Housing, which is delivering a new 50 apartment development for low-income earners over the age of 55.  

by STEVE GRANT

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