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Media Release by Senator the Hon Mark Arbib

Gillard Government delivers crucial social housing

The Senate Committee for Community Services today heard that the Australian Government’s social housing program is on track and delivering much-needed homes for vulnerable people, including those who are homeless.

The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs told Senators that 17,500 dwellings have commenced under the Stimulus with more than 4,000 completed in the last two years since the beginning of the Social Housing Initiative.

An additional 12,000 dwellings that were previously uninhabitable have been repaired using the stimulus funding, further boosting social housing supply.

Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness Mark Arbib today said the social housing delivered under the National Building Economic Stimulus Plan was cost-effective and was making a difference to the lives of people in need.

“The average price of an individual dwelling is about $272,000, well below the original target of $300,000,” Senator Arbib said.

“This means that we will be building an additional 2,000 social housing dwellings for Australians in need of social housing.

“Four out of every 10 new social housing dwellings are being built in regional Australia, including Albury, Wagga Wagga and Port Augusta.”

The Department also told Senate Estimates that about 15,000 people had been employed under the stimulus social housing initiative, according to Treasury estimates.

A Place to Call Home is currently on tack to deliver 651 dwellings over five years by 2013, exceeding the original target of 600 dwellings.

“Commonwealth-funded services such as HOME Advice and Reconnect have assisted more than 19,000 clients and families since 2007,” Senator Arbib said.

“Around 31,000 Australians will benefit from the Australian Government’s investment into social housing under the Stimulus Plan and the Gillard Government is strongly committed to continuing the roll-out of this important social infrastructure.”