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The Office for Regional Housing has commenced construction on the first eight Regional Key Worker Housing Scheme homes – a crucial step forward in providing more quality housing for essential workers in country areas.

Four of the homes will be built in Mt Gambier, whilst a further four will be delivered in Port Augusta. Both form part of an initial pilot program to deliver 30 homes in key regional areas experiencing a critical need for purpose-built government worker housing. The pilot has already been expanded to meet demand.

The two-and-three-bedroom homes close to Mt Gambier’s CBD are due for completion in early 2025 and will be utilised by government workers including teachers and healthcare workers. The homes will be built by local builder Empak.

The two-and-three-bedroom homes in Port Augusta are located to the west of Joy Baluch AM Bridge and will be constructed by Constructwell.

Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Nick Champion, said the first sod turns in Mt Gambier and Port Augusta were a significant milestone for both the Office for Regional Housing, run by Renewal SA, and for the residents of those cities, who will now be better served as a community.

"South Australia’s regions are key contributors to the state’s prosperity, generating over $30 billion every year in economic activity, yet they are struggling to attract and retain hard working South Australians due to a lack of quality housing,” Minister Champion said.

“We are taking meaningful steps to ensure that essential workers have access to safe and quality housing, allowing them to thrive in their professions and contribute to the well-being of our regional communities.

“It’s taken a lot of work to get to this point so it’s exciting to see construction start on the first of 35 new homes.”

Office for Regional Housing Director Matt Hunt said the delivery of the homes in both Port August and Mount Gambier will play a pivotal role in supporting regional growth.

“A year ago, we set out to create a pipeline of housing that will help draw workers to the regions. From a standing start, we have established the Office for Regional Housing, employed a team of staff, identified areas of critical need, liaised with agencies to assess requirements, acquired land, produced designs and secured builders and development approvals to get these developments started," Mr Hunt said.

“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.”

Land for two additional homes north east of Commercial Street in Mt Gambier has also been acquired, with planning well underway to progress that development. The allotment will feature two, four-bedroom homes making them ideal for essential workers who a relocating with families.

The Office for Regional Housing will deliver 30 new regional homes in Mount Gambier, Port Augusta, Renmark, Ceduna and across the Copper Coast as part of its pilot program plus a further five home in Bordertown - all dedicated to providing comfortable and affordable housing options for essential workers.

For further information, please visit officeregionalhousing.sa.gov.au or contact [email protected].

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