Work has begun on Unity Housing’s new $30m social and affordable housing residential development at Henley Beach South, with a groundbreaking event held on 20 October 2021.
The announcement follows the recent completion of the first stage of Unity Housing’s $45m development program which will see new social and affordable housing rolled out across the Adelaide metro over the next three years, with 32 houses to be completed by Christmas. In this first phase, 13 properties have been completed including seven in Findon, comprising one two-bedroom and six three-bedroom townhouses.
This latest development is a partnership between the SA Housing Authority (SAHA) and Unity Housing. It will see vacant beachside land, owned by SAHA, redeveloped to create new social housing for low-income households, as well as affordable and market housing.
Having been announced in late 2020, the development is now able to get underway after a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Human Services Minister Michelle Lensink, who oversaw the sod turning event, said the development would provide much-needed social housing at a time when people were facing unprecedented challenges.
“In what is a challenging and tight housing market, there is no doubt these new homes will go a long way in providing a much-needed mix of affordable, social and market housing options for South Australians,” she said.
“Our affordable homes are quite literally being snapped up by low-to-moderate income South Australians, clearly demonstrating these homes are much-needed in our state at this time.”
The mixed residential development, at 35 Henley Beach Road, replaces old and outdated public housing flats demolished in 2018.
Under the agreement, Unity Housing will develop the site, including building social housing apartments targeted towards senior housing tenants.
The redevelopment will include 42 townhouses, with a mix of 20 townhouses for general sale and 22 townhouses to be retained by Unity Housing for affordable rental. Unity Housing will build a further 28 apartments for social housing, with SAHA retaining 23 and Unity Housing retaining five.
Unity Housing CEO Matthew Woodward said while civil works would now begin, market sales will commence in November 2021 and construction of the dwellings was scheduled to commence in May 2022.
Mr Woodward said Unity Housing had worked with the community to develop a plan for the site with the support of Village Well, an organisation which specialises in place-making, and with the City of Charles Sturt.
“We’ve ensured that what we build creates a thriving community with a lively mix of residents, including older people and those who need support,” he said.
“Unity Housing has listened to feedback from the local community and we’ve undertaken successful consultations with nearby residents and business owners. We’re confident we will create a flourishing community in a supportive environment.”
Mr Woodward said the Henley Beach South development was a core part of Unity Housing’s commitment to providing more affordable housing.
“Our partnership with the State Government will provide much-needed social and affordable rental housing in a mixed development which will complement the quality and amenity of the broader community in which the development is placed,” he said.
“The Henley Beach South development is a core part of a wider $45m-development program Unity Housing is currently delivering to provide more affordable housing for low-income South Australians.”
Ms Lensink said the Henley Beach South development was expected to be completed by 2024.
“Partnering with Unity Housing will allow us to provide more housing outcomes for the community, which is important as we seek to provide more certainly for many struggling South Australians,” she said.
“Through this joint commitment, we are able to significantly increase social and affordable rental outcomes for low and moderate-income senior housing tenants.”
Unity Housing CEO Matthew Woodward and Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink (centre) with Member for Colton OAM MP Matt Cowdrey (left) and Unity Housing Chair Leigh Garrett (right) at the soil turning event on 20 October 2021.