Julie Matheson

CFP Business Specialist | Local Government Expert | Community Advocate

Matheson Meets Minister for Housing

Wandana Residents Live in Fear.

A resident and I received a very positive and warm reception from the Minister for Housing, Hon. Peter Tinley, who is ready to solve the crime and anti-social behaviour at Wandana.

We presented our submissions calling for Wandana Apartments to revert back to a public housing retirement village.

Wandana was changed by the previous government to accept unqualified tenants for high-rise living.

The previous government made a real mess of Wandana. We appreciate the Minister ‘s time and his interest in solving the drug dealing and antisocial behaviour causing Wandana residents to live in fear.

Wandana Retirement Village

The buildings at 93 Thomas Street, Subiaco are well designed with gardens and urban tree canopy.  They were designed for retirement living by Krantz and Sheldon, and built for 455,000 pounds by the State Housing Commission in 1956.  There are 242 apartments consisting of one ten storey and two three storey blocks. The buildings were listed on the State Heritage Register on 16 March 2001 (WA Heritage Council, 2017).

Wandana was designed with amenities to favour retirement living.  These amenities included:

  • a caretaker
  • butcher
  • hairdresser
  • restaurant
  • a fully stocked grocery store
  • a community room
  • public laundry and drying area
  • public seating
  • public open space

Almost all of these services have been closed by the Department of Housing.  The areas left open to the public are now places of crime and theft.

In 2000, the Heritage Minister Graham Kierath stated that Wandana had not turned into the “slums of Tokyo, London and Glasgow” as criticised and described by the media as the “sabotage of Subiaco” at the time it was built in 1956 (Kierath, 2000).

To the credit of the Subiaco community, Wandana and its residents have been embraced and supported to prevent the social concerns raised in the 1950s.

However, in 2013 the previous state government changed the rules to let any tenant live at Wandana.  Some tenants were transferred from the closed Stirling Towers to Wandana where their anti-social behaviour continued.

Also the Department of Health has some responsibility in the decline of Wandana due to the transfer of residents to the apartments with mental health issues and drug and alcohol addiction.  They are left to survive on their own without any care or support.

Significantly, the loss of a caretaker/manager and lack of security has lead to residents living in fear.

Here are a few examples:


One comment on “Matheson Meets Minister for Housing

  1. Tom Jeffcote
    November 11, 2019

    Hi, just reading this post. I am becoming involved with some voluntary work at Wandana and am interested in updating my knowledge. What happened following this request ? Did the Minister revert the use to retirement living?

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