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Artist impression of Mount Gambier house

The newly created Office for Regional Housing has secured its first tranche of key worker housing, signing contracts this week on a parcel of land that will deliver homes for frontline workers.

The four single-storey houses will be built in Mt Gambier and form the beginning of the Regional Key Worker Housing Scheme – a pilot program announced in February to deliver 30 homes to key regional areas in need of accommodation to retain government staff.

The Mt Gambier homes are expected to house police, healthcare workers and teachers, which are in short supply on the Limestone Coast.

Construction of the two-and-three-bedroom homes will commence early next year, following settlement of the land, with the first tenants to move in by mid-2025.

The Office for Regional Housing, which forms part of Renewal SA, will now work to engage a builder to commence house construction.

Minister for Housing and Urban Development said the first tranche of homes would aid the retention and recruitment of essential staff.

“This is just one step in a series of housing projects we are rolling out as quickly as possible through the Office for Regional Housing,” Minister Champion said.

Renewal SA Executive Director Residential Project Delivery and Assets, Shane Wingard, said more land would be sought in the regions whilst the first project in Mt Gambier progresses.

This is the beginning of what we hope is a continuous rollout of housing in regional South Australia, assisting to generate further economic activity for our country communities.

Shane Wingard, Executive Director, Residential Project Delivery and Assets
Artist impression of proposed floorplan, subject to change

Artist impression and subject to change

Following four months of extensive consultation with country communities – including more than 50 per cent of the state’s regional councils - the Office is actively pursuing several development-ready land parcels in the regions to secure a further 10 homes. These parcels can be turned around quickly because they are zoned for housing, and require limited subdivision, civil works or site clearance. This effort aims to address chronic housing shortages in those towns.

In addition, the Office is conducting detailed site investigations and due diligence on identified parcels of state and local government land across five South Australian regions - the Copper Coast, Mount Gambier, Port Augusta, Ceduna, and the Riverland. These strategically located sites will enable workers to reside in close proximity to their workplaces or offer maximum flexibility for commuting to various towns within a region.

Once constructed, the Mt Gambier properties will be head-leased to Government Employee Housing (GEH), which will coordinate tenancy for agency workers.

Following the delivery of the pilot program, it is anticipated that the Regional Key Worker Housing Scheme will be expanded to other regions and be available to organisations and businesses seeking to secure long-term access to new, fit-for-purpose housing for their workers.

In addition to the Scheme, the Office is also working with regional partners to identify other strategic housing projects that may require some form of assistance or coordination to proceed. This function of the Office provides regional councils, peak bodies, employers, and stakeholders access to state government information, advice, assistance, and support for housing initiatives.

Opportunities have already been identified on this front on Kangaroo Island, where there is a critical need for rental accommodation to support government services and sectors such as timber, agriculture and tourism, and for short-and-long-term housing requirements associated with the creation of a hydrogen industry in the Upper Spencer Gulf.

The Office for Regional Housing was established as part of the state government’s A Better Housing Future initiative and is a key policy response to tackling the housing crisis currently enveloping Australia.

For further information about the Office for Regional Housing visit or contact us at [email protected].

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