May 7, 2024

Top Suburbs for Public Housing in Perth

The article delves into Perth's top ten suburbs with the highest concentration of public housing, encompassing Karawara, Willagee, Ashfield, Brentwood, Manning, Mirrabooka, Redcliffe, Koongamia, Koondoola, and Midvale. It explores the distribution of public housing in each suburb, demographic changes, crime rates, and ongoing redevelopment initiatives, offering a comprehensive overview of public housing dynamics in Perth.

Suburb Insights

Top Public Housing Suburbs in Perth

In Perth, 4% of households are public housing. The top ten suburbs for public housing include Karawara, Willagee, Ashfield, Brentwood, Manning, Mirrabooka, Redcliffe, Koongamia, Koondoola, and Midvale.

You may be wondering, where is public housing located in Perth? Is your property at risk? Which suburbs should you avoid in Perth? On this page, we will take a look at the Top 10 Suburbs in Perth which have the highest proportion of public housing, and other public housing trends in Perth Suburbs. 

What are the top public housing suburbs in Perth?

1. Karawara: 18.2%

Karawara is located in the southern suburbs of Perth. The suburb's original construction was built around the Radburn design, which bred crime, disadvantage and violence over the years. There are government projects in place to expand Karawara’s open, public spaces and to reduce the incidence of crime. Public housing is evenly spread throughout the suburb, but notably there is a high concentration on the east side.

Nighttime safety in the suburb ranks below the average for Perth, and concerns persist regarding property crime rates. The number of welfare recipients is well-above average for Perth, ranking in Perth’s top 9%. The number of drug offences is also high, ranking in Perth’s top 11%. According to the 2021 census, there is a significant proportion of individuals aged between 20 and 30 years (24.9%, compared to 13.2% nationally). The median weekly household income in Karawara is $1,746, slightly below the national median of $1,746. The suburb is home to people of many backgrounds, with the top responses for country of birth including Australia (48.9%), Malaysia (6%), England (3.1%), and India (2.8%).

Public Housing in Karawara
2. Willagee: 16.1%

Willagee is located in the southern suburbs of Perth. Willagee has pockets of public housing areas but this is quickly changing. Major investments by the state government have seen public housing undergo redevelopment to reduce the rate of public housing. There are many newly built and renovated houses in the area. From 2011 to 2021, the public housing rate decreased from 19.2% to 16.1%. Most public housing is located in the south-east end of the suburb.

Willagee faces challenges associated with crime and social disadvantage. Nighttime safety in the suburb is average for Perth, and concerns persist regarding property crime rates. The total number of selected offences against an individual is in Perth’s top 5%. Further, the number of welfare recipients in the postcode is in Perth’s top 17%. According to 2021 census data, the median age is 37, with the age distribution in line with the national average. The median weekly household income in Willagee is  $1,660, slightly below the national median of $1,746. The majority of people in this suburb were born in Australia (68.9%).

3. Ashfield: 14.5%

Ashfield is in the north-eastern suburbs of Perth. Public housing in Ashfield is evenly distributed throughout the suburb. From 2011 to 2021, the proportion of public housing has decreased by 2.7%. Many houses in Ashfield were constructed in the 1950s and 1960s for the purpose of public housing, but many of these houses were redeveloped in the 1990s for the private sector. The government currently owns 120 properties in Ashfield, of which 50-60% are reserved for seniors.

Ashfield has issues with crime and disadvantage. Ashfield’s night time safety rate is low, ranking in Perth’s bottom 6%. While property crime is relatively average, the number of persons with selected offences ranks in Perth’s top 7%. The number of welfare recipients in Ashfield are also high, ranking in Perth’s top 12%, and drug offence incidence ranks in Perth’s top 1%. According to the 2021 census, the median weekly household income in Ashfield is $1,666, slightly below the national median of $1,746. The suburb is home to people of different ancestries, including English (37.7%), Australian (32.7%), Scottish (11%), Irish (9.5%), and Australian Aboriginal (4.7%).

4. Brentwood: 14%

Brentwood is situated in the southern suburbs of Perth. Brentwood was developed as a social housing suburb after World War II but there is proportionately less public housing in Brentwood today. The proportion of public housing in this area has stayed relatively constant in the last decade. Public housing is dispersed through Brentwood, with moderate concentration near Leach Highway.

Brentwood is regarded as a relatively safe and quiet suburb, with some small disturbances that do not seem to affect most people. Night time safety is relatively average for Perth, however, the total selected offences against a person ranks relatively high, in Perth’s top 9%. The number of welfare recipients in the suburb also ranks in Perth’s top 14%. The total amount of drug offences is also in Perth’s top 1%. According to 2021 census data, the median age is 38, with the age distribution in line with the national average. The median weekly household income in Brentwood is  $1,707, slightly below the national median of $1,746. Most people in Brentwood have English (33.4%) or Australian (28%) ancestry, with other responses including Chinese (16%), Scottish (8%), and Irish (6.9%).

Public Housing in Brentwood
5. Manning: 12.2%

Manning is located in the southern suburbs of Perth, and has undergone demographic change in the last ten years. There is a degree of public housing in Manning, but this is being reduced each year. Public housing is dispersed throughout Manning, but is mainly concentrated on the southern side. Many new houses are in development due to zoning changes. 

Manning is a relatively safe community with good schools, abundant parks and recreation areas. Night time safety in Manning is average for Perth and property crime is low (in Perth’s bottom 16%). However, total selected offences against a person ranks in Perth’s top 8%, while the number of drug offences rank in Perth’s top 11%. According to the 2021% census, the median age is 38, with the age distribution in line with the national average. The median weekly household income in Mirrabooka is  $2,208, above the national median of $1,746. Most people in Manning have English (36.7%) or Australian (32.1%) ancestry, with other responses including Irish (9.9%), Chinese (9.7%), and Scottish (9.1%).

6. Mirrabooka: 11.3%

There has been a decrease in public housing properties and an increase in renovations and young families moving in, indicating a shift in the demographic of Mirrabooka. Public housing in Mirrabooka has decreased by 1% and dispersed evenly throughout the suburb.

Mirrabooka has a reputation for being unsafe and disadvantaged, with reports of crime, drug activity, and poor maintenance of public spaces. Night time safety in Mirrabooka is low, ranking in Perth’s bottom 21%. The total selected offences against a person is also very high, ranking in Perth’s top 1%, further, the total drug offences ranks in Perth’s top 10%. The number of welfare recipients in Mirrabooka is relatively high, ranking in Perth’s top 4%. According to 2021 census data, the median age is 36, with the age distribution in line with the national average. The median weekly household income in Mirrabooka is  $1,267, below the national median of $1,746. People in Mirrabooka report having the following ancestries: English (14.2%), Australian (13%), Vietnamese (9.9%), Chinese (5.9%), and Burmese (5.2%).

Mirrabooka Public Housing
7. Redcliffe: 10.8%

Redcliff is situated in the eastern suburbs of Perth. There are some pockets that have more public housing than others, so a street-by-street analysis is necessary. A recent social housing complex has been completed in Redcliffe, opening 18 new one-bedroom units on Fortwood Street, all with accessibility features. There is also an 82-unit project underway targeted at seniors.

Redcliffe faces challenges associated with crime and social disadvantage. Nighttime safety in the suburb is low, ranking in Perth’s bottom 1%. The total number of selected offences against an individual is in Perth’s top 8%. Further, the number of welfare recipients in the postcode is in Perth’s top 26%. The number of drug offences also ranks high in Perth’s top 11%. According to 2021 census data, the median age is 38, with the age distribution in line with the national average. The median weekly household income in Redcliffe is  $1,565, slightly below the national median of $1,746. Most people in Redcliffe have English (30.3%) or Australian (26.8%) ancestry, with other responses including Irish (8.5%), Scottish (7.7%) and Chinese (5.9%).

New Housing Tower Redcliffe
8. Koongamia: 10.8%

Koongamia is located in the eastern suburbs of Perth. Public housing is located throughout Koongamia, especially in the suburb’s south-west. Public housing in the suburb has slightly increased in the last ten years by 0.9%.

Koongamia does not have a strong reputation for being unsafe, instead residents report having a nice sense of community. Despite this, Koongamia has a low night time safety rating, ranking in Perth’s bottom 10%. Property crime is relatively high, in Perth’s top 37%, and the total selected offences against a person ranks in Perth’s top 14%. The number of welfare recipients is high, ranking in Perth’s top 2%.  According to 2021 census data, the median age is 37, with the age distribution in line with the national average. The median weekly household income in Koongamia is $1,260, below the national median of $1,746. People in Koongamia report having the following ancestries: English (44.8%), Australian (36.6%), Scottish (9.9%), Irish (9.2%), and Australian Aboriginal (5.6%). 

9. Koondoola: 10.3%

Koondoola is situated in the northern suburbs of Perth. Koondoola’s public housing is distributed throughout the suburb. The proportion of public housing has stayed relatively the same in the last decade. There are no plans or developments for further public housing in the area. 

Koondoola faces challenges associated with crime and social disadvantage. It has a reputation for being unsafe but that may vary. Nighttime safety in the suburb is low, ranking in Perth’s bottom 12%. The total number of selected offences against an individual is in Perth’s top 4%, and property crime ranks Perth’s top 36% of suburbs. Further, the number of welfare recipients in the postcode is in Perth’s top 6%. According to 2021 census data, the median age is 35, with the age distribution in line with the national average. The median weekly household income in Koondoola is $1,185, below the national median of $1,746. The people in this suburb are English (22.5%), Australian (17.5%), but there are large Vietnamese (7.9%), Karen (6.3%), and Burmese (5.6%) populations in Koondoola relative to the rest of Australia. 

Housing in Koondoola

10. Midvale: 10.3%

Midvale is located in the eastern suburbs of Perth. Much of the housing in this suburb was built for public housing, and later redeveloped in the early 2000s. Public housing in the area has significantly dropped in the last decade, decreasing from 16.9% to 10.3%. 

There are significant levels of crime and social disadvantage in Midvale. Nighttime safety in the suburb is below average for Perth, ranking in Perth’s bottom 37%. Property crime is somewhat high in Perth’s top 37%, and total selected offences against a person, ranks in Perth’s top 14%. Drug-related offences rank in Perth’s top 8 %. The number of welfare recipients in the postcode is in Perth’s top 2%. According to 2021 census data, the median age is 35, with the age distribution in line with the national average. The median weekly household income in Midvale is $1,433, slightly below the national median of $1,746. Most people in this suburb are English (28.1%) or Australian (26.7%), but Midvale also has a large Filipino (16.1%) and Australian Aboriginal (7.3%) community.

Every single suburb’s public housing figure is available here to subscribers, along with a zoomable Perth-wide heat map

Does this really matter?

None of the above should mean you completely avoid any of these LGAs for buying a property. It just means you have to do your research. Our analysis shows though that, from the point of view of investors, home owners and tenants, what really matters is public housing within 100-200 metres of your property. Merely having public housing in your local government area or even the other side of the suburb does not affect your capital growth and in most cases not your lifestyle either. To get pocket level public housing, as well as other risk factors like bushfire, mobile blackspots, high turnover rates and growth on a hyperlocal pocket level, see our suburb reports.

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