The head of the Commonwealth’s Pilbara development body has called for construction of new service worker’s accommodation to ease the region’s rental crisis. Regional Development Australia Pilbara chief executive Tony Simpson, who was local government minister in the Barnett government, said State-funded worker’s units needed to be revisited in light of surging rental prices as new resources projects in the Pilbara ramp up. Mr Simpson said mining camps should also be investigated for the suitability to house service workers. “We’ve got to look at how we can get ourselves another Osprey (Hedland), Warambie (Karratha) in place and work towards that so we do have some worker’s accommodation in the long term,” he said. “We need housing at affordable levels for our service workers, who make coffee, cut hair or work in child care. “We’re pretty good at building mining camps, a few of them could be allocated for worker accommodation. “We’ve got to put all options on the table to look at how we can maintain living standards..to keep our town sustainable and keep attracting people to hopefully live there and start a family.” West Australia Council of Social Services Pilbara manager Celeste Stephens said housing supply was not meeting demand, resulting in a shortage of houses across the Pilbara. “Social services are really struggling to house their employees as well as house the clients that they potentially see,” she said. “There are not enough social houses in the Pilbara either, so we have a lot of over crowding and a lot of people having to leave the region.” Mrs Stephens said the increase in rent had put pressure on social services. “For our social services, a lot of the funding that they get for the delivery of their programs and projects is going towards rent,” she said. “They’re trying to deliver a service but they can’t because more of that has to go towards rent and accommodation, which means the services are at risk of not being delivered. “We’re talking essential services for people escaping family and domestic violence, outreach crisis support for mental health or alcohol and other drugs. “These people end up having nowhere to go so when these escalation of rents occur, the entire community is at a loss.” Housing Minister John Carey said the State Government was aware of the acute need for more housing across the state, particularly in regional areas. “A large number of people moving or returning to the state has placed an upward pressure on the demand for homes,” Carey said. “We’ve put in place a number of measures... including our $20,000 Building Bonus Grant, expansion to the eligibility for Keystart and our $116 million Regional Land Booster program. “These measures are working, but constructing new homes does take time.” Modular prefabricated houses, similar to those built for Warambie, have been touted as a solution.