Funds flow to speed up new housing plans

New housing development. | Newsreel
Housing approvals fell in April. | Photo: iStock

Improving the planning process to speed up housing construction is the focus of the first round of funding available through the Federal Government’s Housing Support Program.

State, territory and local governments can now apply for a share of the $500m fund for projects that will build the planning workforce and capability to improve the efficiency of the planning process.

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 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 the next five years.

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

Applications close in April, with a second round of applications due to open in May for projects that provide enabling infrastructure and amenities such as footpaths, roads and parks to support new housing.

More information on the program can be found on the Federal Government website.