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Renmark bridge with river

The Office for Regional Housing has secured land in Port Augusta for four new houses, and up to five in Renmark, that will be built for police, healthcare workers and teachers.

The Office, which is part of Renewal SA, will now work to engage a builder to start construction early next year, with the first tenants expected to move into the two-and-three-bedroom homes by mid-2025.

The rental homes form part of the Regional Key Worker Housing Scheme, a pilot program which will initially deliver 30 new homes in key regional areas including Port Augusta, Ceduna, the Copper Coast, Renmark and Mt Gambier.

Minister for Housing and Urban Development Nick Champion said the homes will help the retention and recruitment of essential staff while also easing the pressure on the private rental market.

“Our government is boosting regional housing supply to meet local communities’ needs and ensure key workers have a roof over their heads,” minister Champion said.

“We are fast tracking development to encourage health care workers, police officers and teachers to choose the Mid North or Riverland as a place to live and work, helping provide vital services the region requires.

“This is just one measure in a host of housing projects we are delivering through the Office for Regional Housing, backed by strategic planning and sound infrastructure.”

Renewal SA Executive Director Residential Project Delivery and Assets, Shane Wingard, said the Office has been undertaking extensive consultation with country communities.

“We know our regions are the engine room of the state’s economy, and we are working closely with local councils, businesses, builders and investors to support a variety of regional housing initiatives,” Mr Wingard said.

“Regional growth is being hindered by a shortage of housing stock, with regional employers often unable to fill job vacancies due to a lack of suitable housing for additional workers.

We know that, in Port Augusta, there has been a long-term undersupply of rental houses, and it has been difficult for healthcare workers and police officers in particular to find stable accommodation.

Shane Wingard, Executive Director Residential Project Delivery and Assets

“Similar to other regions, we know that, in the Riverland, there has been a long-term undersupply of rental houses and additional pressure from the short-term holiday market.

“The region is facing significant challenges in its flood recovery, but this project will mean there is one less issue to worry about by ensuring there are appropriate homes for frontline workers.

“These strategically located sites will enable workers to live in close proximity to their workplaces or offer maximum flexibility for commuting to various towns within a region.

“The parcels can deliver housing quickly because they are appropriately zoned, and require limited subdivision, civil works or site clearance.”

Once constructed, the 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.

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 chronic housing shortage currently enveloping Australia.

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

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