Media Release by The Hon Robert McClelland MP

Delivered: 17,000 new homes for Australians in need

Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Robert McClelland MP, today announced more than 17,000 new homes have been delivered to vulnerable Australians right across the country under its $5.6 billion Social Housing Initiative as of 1 January this year.

“These homes have provided a home to Australians who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, including people with disability, older people, Indigenous Australians and families escaping violence,” Mr McClelland said.

“These new homes provide an affordable and safe place, and give peace of mind to Australians who were struggling to find a stable place to live.

“More than half (55 per cent) of the 17,000 dwellings were provided to homeless people and over 40 per cent went to senior Australians.

“Around 44 per cent of the people now living in this new social housing have a disability, 14 per cent are Indigenous Australians, and six per cent are families escaping domestic and family violence.

“Australia is in the midst of a housing shortage, especially when it comes to affordable housing, and this Government will continue to work tirelessly to provide vulnerable people a place to call their own.

“To date, we have delivered more than 6,000 new dwellings in New South Wales, over 3,800 in Victoria, over 3,200 in Queensland, more than 1,700 in Western Australia, over 1,000 in South Australia, 480 new homes in Tasmania, and over 160 in the Northern Territory.

“The Australian Capital Territory has recently completed construction on all 421 new homes for the community, and is the first state or territory to complete the delivery of all its homes funded under the Social Housing Initiative.

“The $5.6 billion Social Housing Initiative represents the single largest investment in social housing ever undertaken by any Australian Government.

“Not only do these homes offer stable accommodation, they also help keep vulnerable Australians connected to the wider community.

“Most of these one, two, three or more bedroom dwellings, feature six-star energy rating, and other environment-friendly features including a water tank, solar panels, and some include community gardens.

“Not only have we delivered new homes for vulnerable Australians, we have also supported more than 15,000 jobs nationally through their construction, helping shield Australia from the economic downtown that hit most other economies.

“Today’s announcement of completing 17,000 new homes under the Social Housing Initiative demonstrates that we are well on the way to meeting the target of 19,600 homes in 2012,” Mr McClelland said.