Media Release by The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP

$3 million to provide affordable housing in Port Macquarie

Almost 5,000 new homes will be more affordable in Port Macquarie thanks to the Gillard Government’s Building Better Regional Cities program.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council will receive $3 million over three years to help reduce the cost of building local infrastructure needed for two new housing developments, Minister for Housing and Homelessness Brendan O’Connor announced today.

In turn, the savings will be passed on to eligible new home buyers.

“We know that housing shortages are creating challenges in growing regional communities like Port Macquarie,” Mr O’Connor said.

“Through Building Better Regional Cities, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council will receive funding to help build a water storage reservoir and a collector road.

“Up to 4,000 homes in the Thrumster area will benefit from the reservoir at the Cowarra State Forest, while the collector road will provide access to 750 lots in a residential development at Innes Peninsula.

“This will increase the supply of affordable homes for sale and rent and help alleviate housing supply pressures in their communities.”

The Building Better Regional Cities program is part of the Gillard Government’s commitment to address housing affordability around the nation.

Building Better Regional Cities helps councils and developers with the costs of building infrastructure needed for new developments, such as roads, bridges and sewerage works, as well as parks, community centres, and recreation facilities.

More than $100 million has been committed 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 the best way to improve housing affordability is to increase housing supply,” Mr O’Connor said.

“There are many regional centres like Port Macquarie 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 Port Macquarie area, we have provided $53.8 million under the Social Housing Initiative to build 202 new homes and an additional $900,000 for repairs and maintenance to 328 existing Social Housing homes,” Mr O’Connor said.

“We have also delivered incentives for developers of 44 new homes under the National Rental Affordability Scheme, to provide rental accommodation for low and moderate income earners at least 20 per cent below market rate.”