State, territory and local governments can now apply for funding from the Federal Government’s $500 million Housing Support Program to support programs that will speed up the planning process for the delivery of housing.

Stream 1 of the program is for projects that aim to build the planning workforce and capability to improve the efficiency of the planning process so that housing construction can start sooner.  

These could be new pathways for planners and related professions to enter the industry, or tools to streamline planning systems and improve decision-making efficiency.

Projects could also look at sharing resources between local governments or supporting master planning and planning reform.

Projects must demonstrate how they will align with planning, zoning and regulatory reforms agreed through the National Cabinet’s National Planning Reform Blueprint, land-use planning for disaster resilience and the aims of the National Housing Accord.

The National Housing Accord with states and territories sets out a shared ambition to build 1.2 million new well-located homes over five years from 1 July 2024. 

Homes would be close to jobs, schools, transport and other amenities to support improved productivity and liveability.

The Federal Government has also committed $3 billion for the New Homes Bonus to boost housing supply and federal funding to deliver 40,000 new affordable rental homes. 

Applications for stream 1 of the Housing Support Program will be open from 27 March 2024 until 12.00pm Monday, 29 April 2024.

Stream 2 will provide funding for projects that provide enabling infrastructure and amenities such as footpaths, roads and parks to support new housing. This stream will open for applications in May 2024.  

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King, said that through the Housing Support Program, the government will be helping to turbocharge planning so it can deliver more homes for more Australians.   

“Strengthening planning capability through the program will help kick-start housing supply from local, state and territory governments,” Minister King said. 

“It’s a critical part of the plan to work with states and territories and help them meet the ambitious national target to build 1.2 million well-located new homes.”  

Federal Minister for Housing, Homelessness and Small Business, Julie Collins, said that the government has a broad and ambitious housing agenda to help address Australia’s housing challenges, and that the Housing Support Program is a critical part of that agenda. 

“I urge all councils and state and territory governments to submit their projects so we can work together to get more homes on the ground, faster,” Minister Collins said. 

“Our ambitious housing reform agenda is working across the board – more help for renters, more help for homebuyers and more help for Australians needing a safe place for the night.”

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