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Department for Communities and Social Inclusion

New ideas for growth sought in community housing

2013-09-03

Community housing providers, local governments and their development and finance partners are being encouraged to work with Government on new and innovative ways to grow social housing and revitalise suburban areas.

Speaking at the completion of the Westwood Project at Ferryden Park, Minister for Social Housing Tony Piccolo announced further details of New Ideas for Growth – a program aimed at delivering more social housing in South Australia.

"The Westwood Project is the largest urban renewal project in Australia, and is a reminder of the truly great things we can achieve when we work together to build stronger communities," Mr Piccolo said.

"Through a significant investment from the State Government, Local Government and the private sector, this 12-year project has delivered a safe and sustainable community – a community that residents can be proud of."

Mr Piccolo said that $800 million had been invested in the Westwood Project by the State Government, developer Urban Pacific and the private sector.

"Through this investment, we've seen 2,345 new houses built in the area – including 99 Housing SA properties – and upgrades to nearly 480 homes," he said.

"But this project is about more than just affordable housing – it's about growing and strengthening communities.

"Thanks to this renewal project, the area has a more sustainable balance of public and private housing, better infrastructure, a diverse community, and access to more opportunities for jobs and training.

"And it's that sort of positive impact that we're hoping to achieve through New Ideas for Growth.

"Through this program, we want to hear innovative and exciting ideas from the community sector that can help deliver new affordable housing, create a stronger community housing sector and better connect people to place.

"We want projects that can have the same positive impact for residents that the Westwood Project has had to the many hundreds of people living here."

Mr Piccolo said that under New Ideas for Growth, up to $10,000 in funding will be made available to support the creation of detailed proposals for up to six new community housing ideas that can help significantly grow the level of social housing around South Australia.

"This is about delivering new social housing that can make a real difference in peoples' lives," he said.

"Around Adelaide, we have already seen a number of new developments that are helping deliver new opportunities - developments like Common Ground and UNO Apartments which are helping people on low incomes access the supports and services they need.

"Through New Ideas for Growth, we want to build on that success, and I look forward to hearing exciting new ideas from the community sector."

Mr Piccolo also said that tenders are now open for transfer of the management of about 500 public housing properties in Elizabeth Grove and Elizabeth Vale and about 600 properties in Mitchell Park, to the community housing sector.

"We're keen to hear from community housing providers interested in supporting high-quality, affordable housing in South Australia, with a proven track record in the field," he said.

"Community housing providers have access to a range of tax and other benefits that aren't available to public housing, and those funds can be used to upgrade properties and deliver new social housing to support South Australians on low incomes.

"Importantly, tenants will not experience any financial disadvantage as a result of the transfer – their after-rent income will remain the same."

Mr Piccolo said there would be a two-stage tender process for the social housing transfer – with the overall suitability of housing providers assessed in stage one, with shortlisted providers able to provide more detailed proposals through the second stage.

Tenders through New Ideas for Growth are open until November 26, while Stage one expressions of interest for the social housing transfers close on October 8.

More information is available at www.tenders.as.gov.au

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