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Media Release by The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP

Grants ballot for new affordable homes in Bendigo

From tomorrow, 28 families participating in a ballot for grants worth more than $38,000 will choose their block of land in Viewpoint Huntly, thanks to the Gillard Government.

Minister for Housing and Homelessness Brendan O’Connor said up to 100 affordable house and land packages in the 800-lot Viewpoint Huntly development will be made available to low to moderate income earners over the next 12 months.

“For this stage, more than 80 people registered their interest for the grants, with 28 families approved for the ballot to be drawn on Thursday,” Mr O’Connor said.

“Another 31 lots will become available in the second half of 2013.

“The winning families will be able to start making plans for moving into their own home next year, and I wish them good luck in this ballot.”

Mr O’Connor said the Gillard Government is increasing supply of affordable homes for sale, and will move 100 families out of rentals  to help alleviate housing supply pressures in Bendigo.

“The City of Greater Bendigo Council is receiving almost $3.9 million funding over three years to build sewer works and water services, as well as upgrade roads and the central park area in the estate,” Mr O’Connor said.

“According to the developer, blocks in Viewpoint Huntly are selling faster than their other developments, largely because our investment means infrastructure such as parks will be finished earlier, ensuring kids will have green space to play in as soon as they move in.

“The funding is part of the Gillard Government’s commitment to address housing affordability around the nation.

“The Government has committed more than $100 million over three years to support local infrastructure projects which support new housing developments in 16 regional communities across Australia, to help low to moderate income earners living in regional centres to get a start in the property market.

“We believe one of the best ways to improve housing affordability is to increase housing supply.

“There are many regional centres like Bendigo where rapid population growth is forcing up house prices and rents.

“The Government has invested more than $20 billion in housing and homelessness since 2008.

“In the Greater Bendigo area, we have provided $38 million to build 174 new Social Housing homes, and an additional $1.9 million for repairs and maintenance to 143 existing Social Housing homes.

“We have also provided support to build 256 new rental homes for low and moderate income earners with rent at least 20 per cent below market rate.”