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$10 million of new funding will be provided by the state government to support priority regional housing projects that strategically unlock broader economic benefits in country areas.

The Office for Regional Housing, part of Renewal SA, will launch a formal Registration of Interest (ROI) process on Thursday 7 March, which will allow regional stakeholders to submit projects for funding consideration.

The aim is to identify residential projects that deliver the greatest strategic value for the state yet could benefit from targeted assistance from, and partnership with, the state government to get started.

Examples of support include capital contributions to new infrastructure; leveraging investment in government housing to initiate a larger residential development; and facilitating partnerships that will deliver long-term worker housing in support of new projects or business expansion.

The submissions will be assessed and prioritised against a series of key criteria to ensure the most viable and well-advanced ideas can be fast tracked to unlock much needed housing supply in those regional communities.

The development of the fund follows extensive conversations with the Local Government Association (LGA), regional councils and other business groups since the establishment of the Office for Regional Housing in February 2023.

Submissions will be open until 3 May 2024 and will then be assessed by the Office for Regional Housing. Priority projects will be recommended for approval by the state government with funding available in FY24/25.

Funding may be allocated in multiple tranches to allow groups with less defined proposals more time to flesh out their business cases.

Submissions are welcome from all relevant stakeholders, including local government authorities, regional employers, the development industry, and other peak bodies. The maximum assistance per proposal is $2 million.

In order to be successful, applicants will need to demonstrate that their project aligns with regional housing priorities, will have economic and social impact, supports local industry and supply chain and has long-term sustainability and financial viability, among other factors.

Submissions that are investment ready and can commence within 12 months will be prioritised.

Applicants must also show evidence of council support and endorsement for their submission. For example, pledges from council for land, capital or supporting infrastructure, rental commitments, business cases, development/environmental approvals and grants. It is expected that Regional Development Australia will also play an important role helping councils and community groups firm up their proposals.

“The Office for Regional Housing has spent the last year engaging with communities, businesses, local governments, and developers to gain an understanding of the unique barriers hindering housing supply in regional South Australia,” Office for Regional Housing Director Matt Hunt said.

“We’re aware of dozens of potential projects that require some kind of intervention, whether that be via aggregating demand or economies of scale, to get off the ground.

“This process seeks to formalise a pathway, in a fair and equitable way, for regions to advance their economic prosperity through the provision of high quality, inexpensive housing for workers.”

LGA President Dean Johnson said the LGA was in the process of rolling out a Regional Housing Toolkit to assist councils with the creation of proposals for assessment through both the Office of Regional Housing and Housing Australia, previously known as the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC).

“The toolkit includes details on how to develop a regional housing supply-and-demand analysis and considerations for stakeholder engagement and project buy-in,” Mayor Johnson said.

Projects can be submitted for consideration here. Applications close 3 May 2024, 5pm ACST.

For more information visit the Office for Regional Housing website or contact [email protected] or 1300 342 080.

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