Sunday, June 23, 2024

LGASA unveils Regional Housing Toolkit  

A new Regional Housing Toolkit has been launched to help regional South Australian councils unlock new housing opportunities and ease acute pressure on housing availability and affordability in communities across the state.

LGA South Australia President, Mayor Dean Johnson said the new toolkit is designed to empower local councils in their efforts to tackle the state’s housing crisis. 

“As the state navigates a new era of growth, shadowed by a new housing crisis, all levels of government are engaged to address these challenges,” Mayor Johnson said.    

“Local councils are essential players, actively working to increase supply and address affordability in their local community.   

“We’ve seen local government lead successful housing projects across the state, from Barunga West to Tatiara.

“This toolkit will further support local government planners and policymakers as they develop their strategies.”

The state’s regional investment pipeline published each year by Regional Development South Australia found $62.56 billion worth of public and private sector investment intention over the next five years.

“While this represents an incredible opportunity for our regions – and would add up to 217,000 jobs into the state – housing supply and affordability are a key barrier to realise these projects,” said Mayor Johnson.

He emphasised the urgency of addressing challenges such as trade and material shortages, as well as financial hurdles, to ensure the success of the state’s regional prosperity strategy.

“The challenges faced by regional councils are significant as the absence of economies of scale increases essential infrastructure and building costs, which reduces interest from major residential developers and builders.”

“In addition, trades and materials shortages in regional areas have been further exacerbated by the 2022-23 floods and the pandemic.  

“In some cases, developers and home buyers have had difficulty securing housing finance or have been required to provide house deposits as high as 50 percent of the value of the property. 

“Demand for regional housing is growing, and the success of the state’s regional prosperity strategy is at risk if sufficient worker housing is not delivered.  

“We have a unique opportunity to come together with interested stakeholders and deliver on our commitment to plan and develop thriving and stable communities, grow the economy and improve locally-provided services and support.

“Everything from the state’s hydrogen plan and associated renewable energy and mining projects, to service-related activities such as tourism, education, healthcare and social assistance sectors in the regions are counting on us working together,” Mayor Johnson said. 

The toolkit provides guidance on building an evidence-based business case to support local communities, through their council, seeking investors and funding for housing. 

LGA South Australia aims to mitigate these challenges by better connecting local councils with additional expertise and resources, which will help them attract partnerships and more support, said Mayor Johnson.

The toolkit was published to correspond with research commissioned by LGA’s South Australian Regional Organisation of Councils (SAROC) committee, which found regional South Australians face major barriers to increasing the supply of regional housing.

Read more about the Regional Housing Toolkit on the LGA website: www.lga.sa.gov.au/regional-housing-toolkit.

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