Upgrading housing in the APY Lands
Our APY Replacement Houses Program is powering on.
Three new four-bedroom homes are being built in the Kalka community, near the SA/WA/NT border, to provide better facilities and better accommodate larger families.
Indigenous building company Wiltja Constructions was contracted by the Authority to build the homes as part of a five-year program to replace 26 ageing houses across the APY Lands.
Work will soon be underway on five more homes in the nearby Pipalyatjara community, and six houses were completed at Mimili earlier this year.
New SA Housing Trust Presiding Member appointed
A new Presiding Member has been appointed to the South Australian Housing Trust Board (SAHT).
Mary Patetsos has been named the new Presiding Member for a three-year term, beginning 24 September 2022.
Mary is a passionate South Australian with strong national and global networks and previously served on the SAHT Board between 2006-2018, including four years as the Presiding Member.
Mary brings a wealth of skills and experience to the role along with professional and personal integrity, and a strong passion for human rights.
This is reflected through her years of membership on a number of boards including as Chair of the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia, Chair of the SA Local Government Grants Commission, council member of the University of South Australia, Deputy Chairperson Health Performance Council and member National Aged Care Alliance.
This announcement follows the retirement of Gary Storkey, who was the SAHT Presiding Member between 2018-2022.
Landscaping upgrades at Housing SA site
We recently completed a range of landscaping upgrades at one of our Housing SA sites in the Adelaide metropolitan area.
The works involved extensive work to the gardens, including planting of dozens of seedlings and trees.
Several spaces around the site have been set aside for tenant gardens and a central lawn area with seating and a table were installed as part of the upgrades.
The landscaping works were completed by our horticultural contractor Urbans during August 2022 after several years of planning and consultation.
More time for home seekers to buy affordable homes
Home buyers on moderate incomes looking to break into the housing market will now have twice as long to purchase an affordable home offered under a State Government program.
The exclusive listing period for buyers eligible to purchase under the HomeSeeker SA affordable homes program has increased from a minimum of 30 to 60 days (for newly listed homes on the program’s website www.homeseeker.sa.gov.au).
The new 60-day exclusive listing period will apply to private developers who are offering affordable housing on HomeSeeker SA under the 15% Affordable Housing Policy, which encourages developers to incorporate affordable housing into their projects. The new 60-day period will not apply to developments already under contract to deliver homes through HomeSeeker SA unless the developer agrees to this new requirement to further assist eligible buyers. The SA Housing Authority, which is also a builder of affordable homes, will continue to list its newly-built properties on the website for a minimum of 90 days.
The eligibility criteria for the program has also changed with increases to incomes for couples and singles. In the metropolitan areas, single person households earning less than $100,000 a year and couples $130,000 are eligible to purchase a HomeSeeker SA home. In regional areas, singles earning less than $75,000 a year and couples less than $100,000 are eligible.
The State Government’s official “affordable housing price point” for homes for sale on HomeSeeker SA is also increasing to a maximum $479,550. This compares to the median house price for metropolitan Adelaide of $661,750 in the June 2022 quarter. Not all homes are offered at the maximum price - currently, homes are for sale on the website for as little as $320,000.
While this maximum price might seem high, affordable loans with the government backed lender HomeStart reduce the amount people need to borrow to purchase a home drastically, bringing them within reach.
HomeStart’s Shared Equity Option allows people to partner with HomeStart to get into the housing market, with HomeStart contributing up to 25% of the purchase price, meaning buyers have to borrow less. Repayments are based on borrowings and not the shared equity component, and HomeStart acts as a silent partner who will share in the profit or loss when the house is sold.
The affordable housing price point is reviewed each year so that people on moderate incomes pay no more than 30% of their before-tax income on their mortgage.
New maintenance contractors announced
After an extensive consultation and tender process, new contractors have been announced to undertake maintenance services across Housing SA properties.
The contracts divide the state into regions, with three contractors selected in total:
- Torrens Facility Management – Riverland and South-East
- Spotless Facility Services – Adelaide metro area, Adelaide Hills, Barossa and Fleurieu
- RTC Facilities Maintenance (SA) – Western Country Far North
It is intended that the new maintenance providers will deliver better services for our customers.
The new contractors will commence providing services on 1 January 2023.
The contracts will greatly benefit SA businesses and tradespeople with SA companies having a strong presence.
The process for tenants to submit a maintenance request will remain the same by calling the 131 288 number or to go online SA.GOV.AU - Request repairs to public housing (www.sa.gov.au) to report an issue.