By Sally McGlew
A DEVELOPMENT application for 17 temporary homes for the homeless in Woodbridge will be decided on by the City of Swan on December 16.
Located at Devon Street, the application is to adapt State Government owned land.
At the close of advertising 137 proponents objected to the proposal and 26 applicants supported the proposal.
Indigo Junction’s acting chief executive Sharon Gough said while there are six crisis beds in the area for youth and 19 transitional beds for youth and family, service providers are at breaking point.
“There is not one adult crisis bed in the area to service needs,” Ms Gough said.
“For those who have lost their homes as a result of COVID-19 we are now seeing about five or six new presentations a week.
“We have a whole new face of homelessness seeking support.
“When the moratorium on evictions lifts we expect this number will then increase dramatically.
“As it stands just now, we simply can’t meet demand.
“Services are anxious about the expected influx of referrals to homelessness services that already turn away thousands of people a year,” she said.
Dean of Architecture at Curtin University Dr Lee Symington said the proposal before the City of Swan was an old fashioned model of housing.
“There are many issues to be sorted out in terms of the design,” Dr Symington said.
“It should be a win, win, win solution but instead in its current form it’s lose, lose, lose.”
The City of Swan will assess the application and make a recommendation to the Western Australian Planning Commission.
Five City of Swan councillors attended an on-site meeting in Woodbridge on October 4, 2020.
Crs Jennifer Catalano, Ian Johnston, Andrew Kiely, Tanya Richardson and Claire Scanlan were invited by 80 interested residents to view the site.
Midland Guildford Ward Cr Johnston said the land is currently zoned parks and recreation.
The officer’s report recommends council support the application if four points are met.
These include that land is zoned urban under the Metropolitan Region Scheme; the 17 units achieve a Bushfire Attack Level Rating of BAL-29 with appropriate setback from vegetation; the units are built with windows that are vertical in keeping with local planning laws and the car parking area is relocated behind the dwellings consistent with Woodbridge Conservation rulings.
On December 16, the City of Swan will also vote on the proposal for a shipping container placed in the back of the Council chamber carpark to feed homeless people.
Midland Meals, a church group, made a retrospective application for a 12.19m x 2.44m sea container which is used to serve hot meals to the homeless from 5.30pm to 8pm, seven nights a week.
There were 60 submissions on the sea container and its use.
Those opposed to the location were concerned with anti-social behaviour and littering, potential impact on business and property values and the unsightliness of the container.
Another deputation mentioned the reduction in the number of car spaces available behind the City office.