More social housing to support South Australia's most vulnerable
The community housing sector in South Australia will be expanded over the next five years to provide more homes to low income families and other vulnerable people.
Premier Jay Weatherill today announced a reform package that involves the State Government partnering with non-government community housing organisations to build a stronger social housing sector.
Under the reforms, the government will initially transfer 1000 public housing dwellings to community housing organisations over the next 18 months.
This transfer of houses will be the first of a total 5000 public housing dwellings the Government has committed to transferring to the community housing sector to strengthen it.
It will mean Commonwealth Rent Assistance can now be paid towards the rental of these homes - which in turn will generate for South Australia about $2 million extra per 1000 houses each year for the community housing sector.
The new arrangements and extra funding will ultimately allow community housing organisations to borrow against their assets to expand the amount of housing they provide.
It expected that over time, the transfer of 1000 houses will support the community housing sector to build up to 100 new homes, rising to about 500 homes for the full 5000 transferred, bringing to $10 million per year the additional resources for the community housing sector.
"The social housing that we provide to disadvantaged people in the community includes a combination of the State Government's public housing stock and housing provided by the community sector," Mr Weatherill said.
"South Australia created the first community housing legislation in the nation. Now we want to grow the capacity of that sector - and this reform is the first step towards helping it grow.
"We've always had strong public housing in South Australia - but we need to strengthen our community housing sector in order to provide more diverse social housing.
"The reform we are announcing today is a great example of strong government and a strong community sector working together to provide homes for some of our most disadvantaged people."
Social Housing Minister Tony Piccolo said the government was building a more diverse social housing system to meet the changing needs of low income families and other vulnerable people, including people living with disability.
"Having a safe, secure and affordable place to live is essential to every South Australian," Mr Piccolo said.
"The Better Places, Stronger Communities Program will start with the State Government calling for expressions of interest from community housing organisations for the initial transfer of 1000 houses.
"The State Government will also be inviting the community housing providers to propose and develop new ideas that encourage social housing growth and an improved mix of housing in our suburbs through the New Ideas for Growth initiative."
The State Government is also working on a range of reforms to ensure there is greater integration between the public and community housing sectors. The State Government and the community housing sector will work with local government on the implementation of these reforms.
People living in the public housing properties involved in the program will be contacted and assured that their out-of-pocket housing costs will not change as a result of this reform.