What does the Housing Affordability Fund do?
The Housing Affordability Fund (the Fund) is a five year (from 2008-09 to 2012-13), $450 million investment by the Australian Government that is helping to reduce the cost of new homes for homebuyers. The program provides grants to state, territory and local governments, to work in conjunction with the private sector, to reduce housing-related infrastructure and planning costs, and to pass these savings onto new home purchasers.
Projects receiving funding in the period 2008-09 to 2012-13 are:
- promoting and developing best practice planning and development assessment processes to reduce the costs to developers associated with the time taken to approve a development and ultimately the costs that flow through to the homebuyer; and
- investing in infrastructure to generate savings for home buyers and to speed up the release of land for residential development.
Who was eligible to apply for funding?
Applications for funding were only accepted from an eligible organisation. Eligible organisations were:
- local governments;
- local government associations;
- state or territory government departments or agencies;
Joint venture applications were also welcome, provided that the lead agency was an eligible organisation.
While it is the Australian Government’s preference to contract with other levels of government, contracts with private companies, including developers, were considered where the prospective outcome was clearly better and guaranteed by the company.
Private companies were encouraged to participate in the Fund by entering into partnership arrangements with state, territory or local government applicants. Where a partnership has been entered into, funding approval was payable to a single partner.
How has funding been allocated?
Two competitive funding rounds were conducted. Applications received were assessed against transparent selection criteria.
Seventy five projects have been approved for funding. Projects are located in every state and territory.
How is the Housing Affordability Fund helping people?
New home buyers are benefitting from cost savings that result from reduced infrastructure costs and faster approval processes. Many projects are passing on these savings as a rebate to home buyers at point of sale or through a discounted purchase price.