Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Stimulus supports local jobs and delivers affordable housing in Hervey Bay

Minister for Housing, Tanya Plibersek today inspected a five unit development that will provide new affordable homes in Pialba.

The project has been developed by local business Hervey Bay Heights Pty Ltd and comprises five one-bedroom apartments.

The new homes will be completed in September 2010 and include water tanks, electric hot water systems, draught-proof windows and doors, screening and energy efficient lighting.

Four of the apartments are suitable for people with mobility difficulties, and one has full wheelchair access.

A local building firm is doing the building work, and seven full-time tradespeople have been employed on site.

Ms Plibersek said that around Australia, Federal Government programs were increasing the stock of affordable housing by 80,000 homes by 2012.

“The $5.6 billion social housing initiative will deliver over 19,300 new homes, repair more than 70,000 others and support more than 15,000 jobs across the country.

“The program is delivering great value for money with an average per unit cost across the nation of $270,000 – well below the $300,000 in the program guidelines.

“The new housing is also contributes to the Government’s strategy to halve homelessness in Australia by 2020.

“I am delighted that a local building company is doing the work on this project, and that seven local tradespeople are employed on site.

“This shows how important the Stimulus Plan has been in supporting local jobs through the global recession,” Ms Plibersek said.

Once completed, the complex will be managed by Regional Housing Limited.

Regional Housing Limited Chief Executive Jackie Richards said many of the new tenants have had a difficult time accessing secure and affordable housing.

“The delivery of additional community housing properties will enable Regional Housing Limited to deliver a wider range of services and opportunities to people, who are homeless or living in poor or unsuitable places, across Wide Bay and Central Queensland,” Ms Richards said.

In total, the Federal Government is delivering 157 new affordable rental homes for low and modest income earners in the Hervey Bay area. All 157 homes are under construction.