Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Housing Affordability Fund Guidelines Released

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Kevin Rudd MP, Prime Minister

From today Local, State, and Territory Governments and private companies can apply for grants from the Rudd Government’s Housing Affordability Fund to help reduce the cost of building new homes.

Housing Minister Tanya Plibersek joined Mr Rudd today at a new housing development in Franklin, where they released the application guidelines for the Government’s new Housing Affordability Fund.

The Housing Affordability Fund is a Rudd Government initiative that invests $512 million over five years to target the planning and infrastructure costs that are incurred when building new housing developments.

Tens of thousands of new home buyers are set to directly benefit from the Fund, with savings coming from grants of up to $10 000 per home, reduced holding costs, and contributions from other levels of government.

Mr Rudd said the fund aimed to encourage the building of much-needed housing developments for Australians.

“We know that Australia is facing a significant housing shortage problem – that is why we are taking action,” Mr Rudd said.

“We need to keep up with the housing demands of a growing population and help to reduce the costs of owning a home.

“These grants will be targeted towards areas with high demand for new, entry-level housing.

“Applicants will have to be able to demonstrate that their cost savings are passed on to new home buyers.”

Ms Plibersek said the Fund was an important new initiative that would specifically focus on reducing the holding costs that our planning system imposes on developers.

“These are costs that are in turn built into the price that home buyers pay for their new home,” Ms Plibersek said.

“Governments at all levels owe it to home buyers to have planning processes that do not add unnecessary costs to housing development.

“The Fund will also address some of the other upfront costs faced by developers that are ultimately passed on to home buyers – like infrastructure charges for the installation of sewerage, roads, cycle-ways and parks.”

State, Territory and local governments and private companies are all eligible to apply for grants.

The Rudd Government also wants to improve the efficiency of the planning and development paper trail – to drag it into the 21st century by making it quicker, more accessible and more user-friendly.

That is why the Government has allocated $30 million from the Housing Affordability Fund to fast track the national roll-out of an electronic development assessment (eDA) system to make use of 21st century technology to replace a 19th century paper-based system.

The Housing Affordability Fund is a critical part of the Australian Government’s housing strategy. The 2008-09 Budget included $2.2 billion in new housing affordability investments:

  • A $623 million National Rental Affordability Scheme to encourage the building of up to 50,000 new rental properties.
  • A $150 million Place to Call Home initiative to build hundreds of new homes for the homeless across Australia.
  • A $1.2 billion investment in First Home Saver Accounts to help first home buyers save for a deposit.

For further information on the Housing Affordability Fund and the application guidelines please visit, Housing Affordability Fund (HAF).