Stirling Towers on Smith Street in Highgate. Photo: Housing Authority WA.

Three candidates have been shortlisted for a new build-to-rent development in the inner-city Perth suburb of Highgate.

Consortiums led by Community Housing Ltd, Housing Choices Western Australia Ltd, and Foundation Housing Ltd – three key community housing providers in WA – have made the government’s final three choices to develop an old public housing site under a long-term ground lease, with approximately 100 units to be built.

Responding to the current heated construction market and the private rental shortage, this solution will help deliver social, affordable and market rental housing on a government-owned site.

WA Housing Minister, John Carey said the government is using “every lever it has” to boost social housing in the area.

“Our government is committed to partnering with the community housing sector to unlock and build capability to increase the supply of social and affordable housing in WA,” he said.

“The build-to-rent housing model offers great security of tenure for tenants because properties are built only for rental purposes and not to be sold for profit.”

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Built in 1970, Stirling Towers on Smith Street has been empty since 2014. The WA Government intends to replace it with a build-to-rent development offering social, affordable and market-price rental apartments.

The Smith Street site will be available to the successful provider under a long-term ground lease. It will deliver approximately 100 new rental dwellings, of which about 30 per cent will be allocated to those on the public housing waitlist.

The Highgate site sits within two kilometres of the Perth CBD and has coveted views of the Perth cityscape, soaring above neighbouring homes. The structure is near public transport, parks, and education and entertainment facilities.

State and territory governments, including WA, NSW and the ACT, have been pushing build-to-rent as a solution for housing availability, with measures such as tax breaks and pilot sites.

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