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Almost 100 applications received for Housing Affordability Fund \n



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Minister for Housing and Minister for the Status of Women

Media Release

Almost 100 applications received for Housing Affordability Fund

28/10/2008

The Australian Government today announced it has received 91 expressions of interest in the first round of applications for its 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.

Local, State, and Territory Governments compete for grants to help reduce the cost of building new homes.

Interest was particularly high in South Australia (23 applications), followed by NSW (19), Queensland (16), Victoria (15) and Western Australia (10), Tasmania (5), ACT (2) and Northern Territory (1).

Minister for Housing, Tanya Plibersek, said the level of take up was at the higher end of expectations.

"The first round of applications shows there is a good spread of interest across the country for making housing more affordable at the local level," Ms Plibersek said.

"The Housing Affordability Fund will improve housing supply by bringing forward new housing starts, reducing delays in the development process and funding infrastructure without having to pass all the costs onto new home buyers," Ms Plibersek said.

"It is a half-billion dollar Rudd Government investment targeted at high growth areas, including infill and greenfield sites - with a preference for moderately priced homes."

Applications closed on 15 October, and called for expressions of interest from State, Territory, local governments and local government associations, in conjunction with the private sector.

"Applications will be competitively assessed - with the fundamental test being value for money measured as savings to home buyers," Ms Plibersek said.

Ms Plibersek will make the announcement today at a roundtable of meeting of local government and housing organisations at Christies Beach, which is being held to discuss housing affordability in Adelaide's south.

Member for Kingston Amanda Rishworth said the Rudd Labor Government is getting on with the job of implementing the $2.2 billion worth of new housing measures that it announced in the May budget.

"The only way to make a real difference on this important issue of housing affordability is to get all three levels of government working together," Ms Rishworth said.

"The Rudd Government's housing program gives us the opportunity to provide more affordable housing for the next generation of home buyers - not just in the southern suburbs of Adelaide but right across the country."

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The second round of applications for the Housing Affordability Fund is expected to open in March.

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