Liberal Government aids more affordable housing in CBD by injecting $14.5 million to purchase 40 apartments

06 Mar 2019 newsmedia

A multi-million dollar CBD social housing development that will provide more affordable housing in Adelaide’s inner city and boost the state’s construction industry, is underway in a collaboration between the Liberal Government and a major community housing provider.

Community housing provider Housing Choices South Australia is developing Spence on Light, a modern 13-storey apartment building at 69 Light Square to provide more social and affordable housing in the Adelaide CBD.

Officially launched today by Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink, the $25 million development is named after pioneering South Australian, Catherine Helen Spence, a suffragist, and advocate for social reform.

The South Australian Housing Authority and ACH have purchased properties off the plan for the mixed-tenure development of 75 accessible one and two-bedroom apartments, including 53 affordable and social housing apartments, 16 ACH group apartments and six apartments for people living with disability.

The off-plan purchases, including 40 apartments purchased by the South Australian Housing Authority for more than $14.5 million, financially underpin the development. The development will be managed by Housing Choices, which already manages 840 properties owned by the SA Housing Authority. Among other revenue streams, Housing Choices is also using the rental revenue from these properties to fund the development.

Minister Lensink said the development would increase affordable housing options for lowincome households in the CBD, particularly older people. “As people age, we know that it can become increasingly difficult to maintain affordable housing and to remain in the community and it is particularly challenging for people living with disability,” said Minister Lensink.

“This innovative collaboration between the Liberal Government and the housing sector addresses some of that need."

“This development will also help to stimulate the state’s building sector, and it is an excellent example of the Liberal Government and the non-government sector working together to find shared solutions to our shared housing challenges. Spence on Light also includes a ground floor space and community café for residents and visitors."

Housing Choices Australia Group Managing Director Michael Lennon said finding affordable accommodation was challenging for older people, particularly in the city. “People living in, or in need of social housing, are frailer and experience higher levels of disability than other population groups. Our aim in this truly collaborative project, is to deliver new housing that better meets the long-term housing support needs of low-income South Australians.”

ACH Group Chief Executive Officer Frank Weits said finding affordable housing in Adelaide’s inner city was particularly difficult for women. “Consistent with our mission, we set out to change that through our collaboration with Housing Choices,” said Mr Weits.

People who are registered with the SA Housing Authority for public housing, or on the Housing Choices property waitlist, will be able to apply for housing in Spence on Light. The project is being designed by South Australian architecture firm Tectvs and built by
Hindmarsh Construction. It is expected to be completed by mid-2020.