THE WA Department of Housing has shrugged off any blame for a public housing complex that has remained partly finished and empty on Duke Street, Northam, for more than a year.
Work on the six housing units ceased early in 2011 after a contractual dispute between the building contractor and sub-contractors, a department spokesman said.
Albany-based contractor Parkzone Pty Ltd was originally responsible for construction; however, it went into administration late last year after claims alleged it was not paying sub-contractors.
Department of Housing figures show the list date of the next applicant in line to be offered a two or three-bedroom public house by the department in Northam is more than four years.
The WA public housing waiting list has dipped only slightly from 24,734 applications in November 2010, to 22,985 as of December 31, 2011. This is despite a State Government pledge through its State Affordable Housing Strategy which aims to provide 20,000 affordable housing options by 2020.
The department's general manager of service delivery Stewart Kestel said he expected work on the Northam housing project to be completed “as soon as possible”.
Building and Maintenance Services WA was originally the main sub-contractor for Parkzone for the public housing project but is now the principal contractor.
“The department has no contractual relationship with sub-contractors; however, it recently received a statutory declaration from BMS confirming their subcontractors have been paid,” he said.
“The department manages numerous large-scale projects across the State and disputes involving sub-contractors are no more common than in developments overseen by the private sector.”