Advocates Urged to Support Regional Housing for Key Workers

The Malinauskas Labor Government has engaged with the state’s leading unions as they seek to partner in the delivery of new housing models to combat the housing crisis currently facing regional South Australian communities.

At a roundtable held in Parliament House yesterday, Housing and Urban Development Minister Nick Champion and Labor MLC Justin Hanson met with representatives from unions responsible for advocating for health, emergency services, infrastructure, education and retail sectors across the state to hear firsthand how the current housing crisis is affecting regional South Australia, identify areas of critical need and potential solutions in a collaborative approach.

The Office for Regional Housing was established last month as a key policy response from the Malinauskas Labor Government – “A Better Housing Future” – focused on tackling the housing crisis currently enveloping Australia.

The Office for Regional Housing is committed to working with local government, economic development agencies and employers to address housing shortages in regional South Australia with the focus on increasing the supply of affordable homes and enhancing the growth and vibrancy of our regions.

A key pillar of the Office for Regional Housing is its Regional Key Worker Housing Scheme which aims to create a continuous pipeline of new homes to assist the attraction and retention of key workers – in professions such as policing, teaching, and healthcare – to meet the needs of regional South Australia.

The pilot program will deliver approximately 30 homes for these key workers across the Copper Coast, Riverland, Mount Gambier, Port Augusta and Ceduna.

Homes delivered under the scheme may then be sold to private investors with the long-term leases attached – helping to reduce pressure on the private rental market.

After the initial rollout, there is scope for the scheme to be expanded to include more regions and be available to other sectors seeking to secure long-term access to new, fit-for-purpose housing for their workers.

The Office will work with local councils, regional businesses, developers, and investors to facilitate the project’s delivery, with a view to approaching the market for builders in the middle of 2023.

In addition, the Office will work with these partners to help facilitate other housing projects that address regional areas’ long-term accommodation needs – providing a one-stop shop for regional councils, peak bodies, employers, and stakeholders to access state government information, advice, assistance, and support for housing initiatives.

The Office is currently recruiting for staff to rapidly upscale its operations and fast-track the increase in housing supply needed across regional South Australia.

A copy of the “A Better Housing Future” is available here.


Attributable to Nick Champion

Hearing first-hand from key unions about the issues facing their members as they provide critical services to our regional communities is critical. Without appropriate housing for our essential and key workers our regions are poorer.

Tackling this issue with the support of my parliamentary colleagues and the union movement is an important step towards a unified approach to addressing the regional housing crisis.

Our government is committed to rolling out this new scheme quickly while identifying the most suitable types of housing in areas of most need.

The work now underway will not only help us boost much-needed regional housing supply to meet local communities’ needs but have flow-on benefits of addressing skills gaps and unlocking economic growth.

Attributable to Member of the Legislative Council Justin Hanson

Regional communities are feeling the impact of the housing crisis and calling for action.

As I spend time in regional South Australia this issue continues to be front of mind – stories of employers struggling for staff and staff struggling for housing are unfortunately all too common.

I’m proud to be a member of a government tackling this issue head-on and will be supporting Minister Champion and the Office for Regional Housing’s efforts to address these challenges.

Attributable to SA Union Secretary Dale Beasley

Union members are the backbone of the essential workforce across regional South Australia and metropolitan Adelaide.

Union members build houses, and they and their families live in them.

The housing crisis is hurting communities across our state. We are very pleased to be giving these workers a voice in tackling this crisis with the Government.

We look forward to continuing the work of ensuring our members providing critical services across regional South Australia have a place to call home.

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