Work to Start on 20,000 Social Houses

The Australian and NSW Governments have committed to deliver 851 new social housing dwellings across the state by July 2010 at a cost of $225 million.

"We needed to move quickly in order to provide a stimulus to the economy so we asked the NSW Government to provide us with a list of projects which could be fast-tracked with work to begin immediately," Minister for Housing Tanya Plibersek said.

"These projects would have rolled out over time but the Rudd Government wanted to see these houses built now to support jobs in the building industry.

"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.

NSW Premier Nathan Rees said this was great news for local jobs across the state.

"It’s critical for the NSW and Commonwealth Governments during these tough economic times to do all we can to help businesses retain their current employees as well as employ more people," Mr Rees said.

"Just this first stage alone will help support around 2,000 jobs in the construction industry in NSW.

"We’ve given the Commonwealth Government our undertaking that all these homes will be ready for tenants to move into by June 2010.

"We’ve hit the ground running because we know that we need to move quickly to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity."

Ms Plibersek said housing and construction is a major employer in the Australian economy.

"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 $6.4 billion announcement to build 20,000 social housing dwellings.

"This will stimulate the building and construction industry and has been estimated by Treasury to support 15,000 jobs nationally over the next two years.

"It’s not just about jobs for builders and tradies but also associated industries such as building manufacturers and suppliers who help keep the Australian economy ticking over."

"In addition, there is the important social benefit of providing more affordable housing to people who need it the most."

The NSW Government has also made a significant contribution through provision of land for these projects.

NSW Housing Minister David Borger said the tough economic climate meant that more people were struggling to find a place to live.

"There’s no doubt more people are doing it tough and need help. We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that people who need housing are helped because we believe that housing is a health need," Mr Borger said.

"This is just the start of the Commonwealth and State’s investment in social housing which ultimately will see 9,000 homes built over the next two to three years.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of