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Builders chosen for regional housing boost

Greater SA

A State Government housing boost for key workers in Mount Gambier, Port Augusta and Renmark has taken a critical step forward, with local builders appointed to deliver the project.

The regional builders will be charged with delivering the first 13 homes under the Government’s Regional Key Worker Housing Scheme, which aims to create housing opportunities to attract and retain vital, skilled workers in country communities.

Rockford Homes, Empak Homes and Constructwell will build homes across Renmark, Mount Gambier and Port Augusta respectively.

Empak will deliver four homes in Mount Gambier after planning approval was secured late last year. The third-generation family-owned business, which employs 17 people, brings local experience to the project, having delivered multiple South Australian Housing Authority (SAHA) homes for the Limestone Coast in recent years.

Five houses will be constructed by Rockford in Renmark, where it will support local supply chains and employ fully licensed local tradies and craftsmen. Constructwell will also build four homes in Port Augusta.

Work is anticipated to commence on all three sites in early to mid-2024, with houses ready for workers to move in during 2025.

The two-and-three-bedroom homes will house essential workers like teachers, police officers, and healthcare workers and help to ease pressure on local housing markets.

Upon completion, the properties will be leased to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport’s Government Employee Housing (GEH) program, which coordinates housing arrangements for government agency workers in regional South Australia.

As more homes are delivered, the Office for Regional Housing expects to expand its focus on more regional areas.

The Office for Regional Housing was established as part of the Government’s A Better Housing Future initiative. The initiative aims to improve housing affordability and rental capacity in the State.

Through the plan, the Government has implemented significant reforms to release record amounts of land, cut taxes for home buyers, turnaround the long-term decline in public housing, streamline planning approvals, and reform the rental market to deliver new benefits to tenants.

Housing Industry Australia executive director, Stephen Knight said the addition of new homes in South Australia’s regions will help replenish housing stock and draw key workers to the regions. “It will also provide opportunities for apprentices and trainees, both young men and women who are keen to stay in their hometowns,” he said.



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