Currently, MRAC manages more than 110 rental properties throughout the Mid West and Gascoyne regions of Western Australia. The Corporation regularly reviews properties as part of our asset management plan and upgrade schedule. This has led to the development of an asset disposal strategy where some properties have been identified to be sold. MRAC considers a number of factors, including whether the property is at the end of its useful life, the housing demand for the location and alternative available housing options and whether these properties generate a net loss.
Where possible, properties are sold to the tenant who would like to own their own home. In some cases, properties are sold on the open market. The sale of these properties frees up funds to reinvest in areas where homes are needed. In August 2019, the Corporation purchased two new properties using property sale proceeds and MRAC savings and in the first half of 2020 will complete the purchase of another four properties in Geraldton.
We are improving our properties all the time. Between 2016 and 2019, the Corporation completed a large project to ensure every home had at least one split system air conditioner. More recently, three-star water-saving showerheads were installed in all MRAC houses to save on water and heating costs. All gas storage hot water units are being progressively replaced with highly efficient gas instantaneous hot water systems that last longer, cost less to run and provide all the hot water our tenants need. MRAC is also piloting the use of timing switches on smaller hot water services usually found in units. This allows the tenants to set the time for when they need hot water and reduce their electricity bills.