Affordable housing block announced for city fringe

Essential workers will be able to rent an apartment at 75 per cent of market value at a $70 million affordable housing block to be built on the CBD’s eastern fringe.

Jan 05, 2023, updated Jan 05, 2023
Concept plans for new housing on Greenhill Road alongside Air Apartments. Photo: supplied

Concept plans for new housing on Greenhill Road alongside Air Apartments. Photo: supplied

Human Services Minister Nat Cook said the Greenhill Road site at Eastwood near Air Apartments would include “dozens of affordable houses” for essential workers including doctors, teachers and nurses.

Plans for the Park Court public housing site also included up to 50 public housing homes to help people struggling with low or fixed incomes, among more than 130 apartments.

Cook said the State Government had reviewed earlier plans for the Park Court site and increased the number of affordable housing apartments amid a rent crisis and homelessness.

The project is led by the SA Housing Authority which is contributing funds on top of $50 million from the Federal Government, with a community housing provider expected to be soon picked as the builder.

“This collaboration puts our state at the forefront of housing innovation in Australia at a time when so many people are struggling to find a place to call home,” Cook said.

Federal Housing Minister Julie Collins said the project took an innovative approach incorporating a mix of housing including social, affordable and private.

“It’s the type of innovation we want to see right across the country,” she said.

Federal Housing Minister Julie Collins left and State Human Services Minister Nat Cook (far right) survey plans for the new $70 million apartment project on Greenhill Road. Photo: supplied

She said it was the first project to unlock funding under the $575 million National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation – soon to become Housing Australia.

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Demolition is already underway and Cook said the government expected to see people moving in “within the next couple of years”.

The announcement comes as Opposition spokeswoman on Social and Community Housing Michelle Lensink said latest monthly data showed South Australia had more than 7,083 people seeking support from homelessness services.

“With cost-of-living pressures biting hard and interest rates soaring, it’s vital we find ways to make renting easier so more South Australians don’t reach the point where they need homelessness support,” Lensink said.

“We continue to hear heartbreaking stories of families who have no other option but to live in their car or even a tent – which is even more worrying when we experience high temperatures in summer.”

She called on the State Government to look at ways to convert short-term rentals to longer-term rentals, increasing the maximum weekly rent limit under the Private Rental Assistance Program and committing to the Affordable Community Housing Land Tax Exemption Program.

Minister Cook said the figures quoted reflected calls to specialist homeless services ranging from some people facing homelessness, some concerned about rental or home arrangements and others looking for advice.

She said of the 7083 data reference, 3,181 contacts related directly to people being homeless in the month of September last year.

This reflected changing numbers from 3,315 in June and 3,275 in October, with Cook saying the State Government was committed to improving the numbers and was in the midst of completing its Residential Tenancies Act review.

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