Inner Freo's shrinking pool of low-cost housing
A February 11 Special Council Meeting adopted a business plan to proceed with the Kings Square redevelopment. The project will be funded in large part through the sale of council owned sites, including the Spicer site (currently the Pine Warehouse and adjacent car park).
At the meeting I moved an amendment proposing that the future use of the site be for a mix of diverse, affordable and low-cost housing; rather than a hotel. However this was defeated 8-1.
The closure of the Henderson St Warders cottages and the demolition of the Homeswest units at Burt St will see the loss of 80 low-income dwellings in the inner city in one year, only partly offset by a maximum of 27 new dwellings in the new Burt St development.
I'm sure many of my fellow councillors were shocked to see the increase in the Liberal Party vote in the state seat of Fremantle in March. But with the sky rocketing cost of housing in WA, there's not many affordable dwellings anywhere west of Carrington St. This brings with it an inevitable demographic and political shift.
If council wants to retain Fremantle's character and diversity it will need to take stronger action to create opportunities for more affordable housing. The Bannister St car park site is being lined up for sale and I'll be encouraging council to prioritise affordable and low-income housing for this site too.