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Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Record response to call out for new homes

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon David Borger MP, NSW Minister for Housing

Federal Housing Minister, Tanya Plibersek and NSW Housing Minister, David Borger today announced that there has been a record response to the call for electronic tenders to build new social housing dwellings in NSW.

The tender was for proposals of land and multi unit packages for potential purchase as social housing under the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan.

“The Rudd Government is taking practical steps through its Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan to cushion the impact of the global financial crisis by supporting jobs in the construction sector. Housing and construction is a major employer in the Australian economy,” Ms Plibersek said.

“That’s why housing has featured so strongly in the Rudd Government’s Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan – firstly through the First Home Owners Boost and then by the announcement to build 20,000 social housing dwellings. “I am extremely pleased to see that so many builders and developers have taken the opportunity to submit proposals to get work for this initiative.

“This is about jobs for builders and tradies as well as associated industries such as building manufacturers and suppliers who help keep the Australian economy ticking over.”

Mr Borger said that over the next three years, the Commonwealth and NSW Governments will invest $3 billion to build about 9000 additional social housing homes and support some 37,000 jobs and apprenticeships across NSW.

“We need to move quickly – 75 per cent of the properties that the Commonwealth is funding need to be ready for tenants to move in by Dec 2010,” Mr Borger said.

“We want 3,000 of those new homes to come from the purchase of private land with the potential for residential development and in early March we launched a request for proposals and held briefing sessions across the state with hundreds of people attending.

“In just four weeks we received submissions for 877 sites which alone could deliver more than 15,000 new homes – giving us plenty of room to find the best 3,000.”

Mr Borger said the Government was now going through each proposal in more detail.

“The submissions have now been allocated to Landcom and six project management firms for assessing,” Mr Borger said.

“The projects that deliver the right homes, in the right location, for the right price are our priority.

“We will not buy or build great numbers of new social housing homes in one location. We know that healthy communities need a good mix of residents and we are determined to encourage better, stronger communities.

“The list of the final 3000 will be released by June and I expect to see work start shortly afterwards, subject to approval by the Federal Government.”

Mr Borger said the Department of Commerce had advised that this was the largest e-tender exercise they have ever undertaken.

“We sorted through 1,500 documents which formed the submissions – a massive response that’s indicative of the global recession that we are facing,” Mr Borger said.

“Importantly this investment, despite protests from the NSW Opposition, will secure jobs as well as build more social housing for people in need.”