Colac Otway Shire

Have Partnership pays off with $2m Federal funding towards innovative housing program

May 17, 2024


Council and its partners will receive funding for precincts in Colac and Apollo Bay that aim to create an adaptable blueprint for future housing delivery that may be a game-changer for regional communities in need of affordable and key worker housing.

The Australian Government’s new Regional Precincts and Partnerships Program will provide $2.01 million to establish two housing sites for an estimated 150 people.

Council CEO Anne Howard said the Colac Otway Adaptable Precincts project would create a new benchmark for affordable and key worker housing in Australia.

“This project will demonstrate that precinct planning for regional towns can be streamlined, innovative, sustainable and adaptive,” Ms Howard said.

Mayor Marg White said the successful funding application, one of just six announced across regional Australia this week, was a result of collaboration with regional partners and Council’s advocacy for solutions to the Key and Essential Worker Housing Crisis it declared in 2021.

“We were approached by Urbis, Deakin University and FormFlow to consider partnering in the development of a solution to our affordable and key worker housing shortage and we jumped at the chance. These groups were aware of our urgent housing issues through involvement in some of our regional partnerships,” Cr White said.

“Together we developed a submission to the new program announced by the Australian Government last August with an extremely tight deadline, and I’m delighted that the hard work has paid off for our community.”

Cr White said it was exciting to have support to undertake the community engagement and master-planning of two important precincts that blend high quality modular housing into established urban precincts.

“And we believe these precincts will be able to adapt to changing needs over time, and can be successfully rolled out as a model elsewhere in Australia,” she said.

The $400 million RPPP supports transformative investment in regional, rural and remote Australia which will focus on a partnership approach to deliver regional precincts that are tailored to local needs and have a shared vision in how that precinct connects to the region.

The RPPP is a grants program that will provides funding through two grant streams to support both the design and development of precincts, and delivery of construction-ready precinct projects.

“Our long-term goal is to see the two parcels of public land in these precincts progress through the consultation, design and approval stage within a 12-18 month period,” Cr White said.

“Innovation in housing design and delivery is a key driver in this project”.

COS Precinct Plan Concept
Precinct Plan Concept


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