Government

Builders selected for government regional housing boost in SA

Local builders have been appointed to construct new homes under the Malinauskas Labor Government’s Regional Key Worker Housing Scheme.

In a significant step towards enhancing housing opportunities in South Australia’s regional areas, local builders have been appointed to construct new homes under the Malinauskas Labor Government’s Regional Key Worker Housing Scheme.

This initiative targets Mount Gambier, Port Augusta, and Renmark, focusing on attracting and retaining skilled workers in these country communities.

The appointed builders, Rockford Homes, Empak Homes, and Constructwell, are set to deliver the first 13 homes of the scheme. Empak Homes, a third-generation family-owned business, will construct four homes in Mount Gambier. Their local expertise is backed by their experience in delivering multiple homes for the South Australian Housing Authority (SAHA) in the Limestone Coast.

In Renmark, Rockford Homes will build five houses, emphasising the use of fully licensed local tradespeople and supporting local supply chains. Similarly, Constructwell has been tasked with building four homes in Port Augusta.

The construction work is set to begin in early to mid-2024, with the homes expected to be ready for occupation in 2025. These two-and-three-bedroom homes are designed to accommodate essential workers like teachers, police officers, and healthcare workers, aiming to alleviate the local housing market pressures.

Upon completion, the properties will be leased to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport’s Government Employee Housing (GEH) program, which arranges housing for government agency workers in regional South Australia. The Office for Regional Housing, established under the Government’s A Better Housing Future initiative, anticipates expanding its focus to more regional areas as more homes are delivered.

The initiative, part of the Government’s broader strategy to improve housing affordability and rental capacity in the State, encompasses significant reforms. These include releasing record amounts of land, reducing taxes for home buyers, addressing the long-term decline in public housing, streamlining planning approvals, and reforming the rental market to benefit tenants.

Nick Champion, Minister for Housing and Urban Development, commented on the project.

‘We want our regions to attract key workers and give them a place to live as they provide vital services to the region. The successful builders bring with them local knowledge of their regions as well as trade bases and are best placed to deliver housing outcomes suited to their communities’, said Champion.

‘Providing this new housing not only helps to deliver quality government services in regional South Australia, but it also frees up other housing stock for individuals and private sector businesses to accommodate their growing workforce needs.’

Geoff Brock, Member for Stuart, expressed his support.

‘I’m a keen supporter of our country areas and it’s pleasing to see the Government responding to regional communities’ housing needs.’ He welcomed the initiative, noting its role in supporting local builders and family businesses and easing market pressure due to expanding industries and jobs.

City of Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin also shared her enthusiasm.

‘We are excited to see that this scheme is going to deliver new homes in Mount Gambier for key workers, which will help us to attract and retain workers while also freeing up homes in the private rental market.’

Stephen Knight, Housing Industry Australia executive director, remarked on the broader impact stating, ‘The addition of new homes in South Australia’s regions will help replenish housing stock and draw key workers to the region. It will also provide opportunities for apprentices and trainees, both young men and women who are keen to stay in their hometowns.’

The appointment of local builders for the Regional Key Worker Housing Scheme marks a pivotal step in addressing the housing needs of South Australia’s regional areas. By focusing on Mount Gambier, Port Augusta, and Renmark, this initiative not only aims to provide essential housing for key workers but also supports local economies and businesses.

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