$100m up for grabs to support housing in regional Australia

LOCAL councils in regional centres across Australia are being invited to apply for Federal Government funding to support more affordable housing in their communities.

Population and Communities Minister Tony Burke last week announced that applications for funding are now open under the government's Building Better Regional Cities program.

The Building Better Regional Cities program aims to provide local councils with support to alleviate housing supply pressures. Councils in 47 regional centres are eligible to apply for a share of $100 million in funding under the program.

"We recognise there are some regional centres were the population and investment is growing, driving new job opportunities but there's not enough affordable housing to keep pace with demand," Mr Burke said.

"Supporting our regions to grow sustainably is key to a sustainable Australia. The Gillard Government is unlocking housing supply so that fly-in fly-out is no longer the only option in communities experiencing record levels of growth.

"That's why we made a $100 million commitment to invest in targeted, local infrastructure projects that support new housing developments in regional cities experiencing housing constraints."

Mr Burke said the Building Better Regional Cities program, a key component of the government's strategy for a "sustainable Australia", is about supporting the supply of affordable housing in our growing regional cities, in turn relieving pressure on major capital cities.

Under Building Better Regional Cities, eligible councils can apply for funding of up to $15 million to invest in local infrastructure projects which support new infill or greenfield housing developments located within those centres.

The types of infrastructure eligible for funding includes: 

  • Connecting or trunk infrastructure such as water and sewerage headworks, upgrades or extensions to drains and sewers (including the augmentation or replacement of existing infrastructure, where this is needed to support infill or greenfield housing developments), and connecting roads and bridges; and 
  • Community infrastructure such as parklands and open space; community centres, and recreation facilities.

Applications will close at 4.00pm (AEDT) on Friday 18 November 2011. Further information is available from the Building Better Regional Cities program website at <http://www.environment.gov.au/housing/bbrc>.

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