Housing approvals have increased across the greater Bunbury local governments as reflected in the 2020/21 financial year.
In the 2019/2020 financial year, the City of Bunbury recorded 71 housing approvals in comparison to 128 for the 2020/2021 for new and grouped dwellings.
Out of a total 679 for residential building approvals, 551 were for patios, sheds, retaining walls and fences, pools and dwelling alterations and additions.
The Shire of Harvey approved 146 applications in 2019/2020 and in 2020/2021 recorded 314 building permits determined with a total of over 1000 approvals for all development types within the Shire. The Shire of Capel in 2019/2020 had 79 housing approvals, whilst the Shire of Dardanup recorded 48.
Whilst Bunbury and Harvey were unable to specify what number of housing approvals in the 2020/2021 financial year were from Perth-based applicants, the Shire of Dardanup was able to confirm that out of 149 approvals, 29 were from the metropolitan area.
South West Development Commission Chief Executive Officer Mellisa Teede said there was a shortage of housing across the South West region encompassing long-term affordable rentals, crisis refuge, public housing, holiday short stay, and temporary seasonal worker accommodation.
"It is no secret that the South West region is a great place to live, work and visit. The current shortage has been brought about by a range of issues including regional population migration as a preferred place to live, strong intrastate and interstate tourism, working from home arrangements for professional services, and holiday/second homes being converted to primary residencies for owners returning to WA post pandemic," Ms Teede said.
"The SWDC is working closely with the LGAs, peak bodies, and industry to identify options to alleviate accommodation shortages for our workforce, not just in the short term, but in the medium-longer term."
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