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Regional built-up suburb with developed houses in the foreground and a new development in the background

The Office for Regional Housing has issued a call to arms for builders across the state to register their interest in partnering with Renewal SA to deliver new houses in regional South Australia.

The Office for Regional Housing was established in February to work with councils, developers and employers in country areas to address the chronic housing shortages many towns are experiencing.

One of its first priorities was the creation of a Regional Key Worker Housing Scheme, which will deliver 30 new homes specifically allocated to teachers, healthcare professionals and police during an initial pilot phase.

The office is also tasked with accelerating the planning and implementation of other strategic projects through the provision of advice and assistance

Renewal SA is now seeking interest from builders in Mount Gambier, Renmark, the Copper Coast and Port Augusta as well as those that can deliver housing solutions in Ceduna, Whyalla, Kangaroo Island and other regional locations.

Minister for Housing and Urban Development Nick Champion said the government is committed to a steady stream of new regional housing.

“We are taking action to deliver more homes in regional areas being hurt by a lack of supply and suitable accommodation for workers,” Minister Champion said.

“We want to hear from experienced builders who can start work quickly to ensure our regions can grow and provide the services their communities need.

“Higher development costs and limited capacity often prove challenging for country townships, which is why we are stepping in to support the local sector and fast-track housing supply across regional South Australia.”

Office for Regional Housing Director Matt Hunt said Renewal SA is keen to hear from builders experienced in design and construction who can start work quickly and take on further projects as they arise.

Now that we have secured land in Mount Gambier, Renmark and Port Augusta, we want to get construction underway on our first houses as early as possible next year.

Matt Hunt, Office for Regional Housing Director

“This will then flow into further developments in other regions, noting we have particularly strong demand to meet in the Copper Coast and Upper Spencer Gulf.

“This is the first step in a multi-step approach to be able to engage builders into the future – we are looking for ongoing partners who can tender for more sites into the future and who can deliver different types of homes to suit the needs and challenges of different areas.”

Stephen Knight, Executive Director of the Housing Industry Association, said the initiative presents an excellent opportunity for the building industry during changing times.

“The Housing Industry Association is anticipating a slowdown in building activity commencing in early 2024, as the impact of high interest rates and cost of living pressures on new home sales begins to bite,” Mr Knight said.

“The opportunity announced by Minister Champion to deliver 30 new homes in regional SA will be welcome news for builders looking to fill their order books for next year and beyond.

“Regional builders can move forward with confidence that there will be plenty of work for the foreseeable future which will be good for local trades and suppliers and particularly for apprentices who will be the next generation of local builders.”

From today, builders can register their interest via a short questionnaire. The ROI will close on Thursday, 5 October.

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