Balga is a suburb in Perth's north. It's always had a reputation for being a rough area with a high unemployment rate and a lot of crime. It's often seen as equivalent to the poorer suburbs out in Sydney's west such as Macquarie Fields.

It hasn't hasn't transformed demographically all that much in recent years - although there are certainly many more migrants, particularly from Africa, living there now. (This is something you really notice in Perth's northern suburbs generally. When you go south - through the middle class suburbs along the train line, at least - there are fewer people of non-European descent.) And Balga is still economically disadvantaged. However the boom has definitely left its mark. Like so many other places in Perth, there's a lot of new construction going on there. This usually takes the form of small but very neat little dwellings.

It's hard to know what to call them. They aren't quite apartments, since they are self contained. Yet they're smaller than actual houses, with no front or back yards. They are also pretty much identical. Below are two examples.

The photo below shows them next to one of the older Balga houses. There are still many of these remaining, of course. I'm not sure when they were made, maybe the sixties or seventies. But even though they are pretty basic, they are sturdy and spacious. (I actually grew up in a house not unlike the one below, in the nearby suburb of Dianella. That has since been demolished, with a little bunch of units built where it used to stand.)