More homes for workers in Bordertown

HOUSING: Up to 60 homes will be built in Bordertown for key workers.

UP to 60 new homes will be developed on a 5.8 hectare site in Bordertown’s west in an effort to boost housing for workers.

The initiative is aimed to address local employers’ growing need to accommodate regional staff while also increasing residential supply.

Partnering with the Taitara District Council, the State Government will invest $2.7m to help develop Stage One of the intiative which will include give homes for key government workers.

It will also include an opportunity for local businesses impacted by housing shortages to contract a further 10 homes with the same builder.

The homes will be built on land purchased by council earlier this year.

With Bordertown being the largest town in the Taitara district, it has a near-zero rental vacancy rate.

Civil works are anticipated to start mid to late next year, with construction of homes

commencing in 2025 with the Tatiara District Council managing the delivery of internal roads within the development.

Member for MacKillop Nick McBride said as the local member he had been advocating for funding which would have more homes delivered in the electorate.

“A lack of affordable and government housing continues to be a huge issue, especially in towns like Bordertown, Keith and Naracoorte – where unemployment is so low,” Mr McBride said.

“I have been working with the Office for Regional Housing to highlight towns that are in desperate need of housing solutions and I am pleased that the State Government is investing in what is the cornerstone to ensuring towns can grow and prosper.”

He said a lack of housing had made it difficult for industries to employ workers with the region needing more homes the announcement was a “welcome first step”.

Tatiara District Council mayor Liz Goossens said housing had been an issue for the district for many years with the economy and population growing yet housing having “not kept pace” with the growth.

“Our unemployment rate sits just above one per cent, which means our businesses must recruit staff from outside the district, but with a rental vacancy rate

of 0.3 per cent there is simply nowhere for them to live,” Mr McBride said.

“Recognising what a barrier to our continued economic growth the lack of housing is, council resolved to develop residential land in Bordertown and Keith.

“This partnership helps us go one step further, with a simple process to build homes at a lower cost.”

Premier Peter Malinauskas said the government was working with council to progress development within the first stage as “quickly and efficiently” as possible to help address the regional housing shortfall while providing workforce accommodation which was “badly needed”.

“We are responding to local businesses crying out for more housing, so they can attract employees to live in the region long-term and support its economic growth,” Mr Malinauskas said.

Minister for Housing and Urban Development Nick Champion also commented stating the government was “delivering a much-needed opportunity” for the private sector to boost its supply while also giving teachers, police officers and health care workers somewhere to live.

Tatiara Business Association Chairman Daniel Staude said housing was the “first hurdle” when hiring workers.

“In the city, this wouldn’t even be on your radar but in the regions, it is the first thing on everyone’s agenda when they are looking for new staff,” Mr Staude said.