The Member for Page, Janelle Saffin, has announced Australian Government funding of more than $880,000 for the Clarence Valley Council to reduce the cost of new homes at Junction Hill.

Ms Saffin said the funding has been awarded under the Housing Affordability Fund, which is a new Rudd Government program targeting planning and infrastructure costs in new housing developments.

“A total of $512 million has been invested in the program over five years, with Clarence Valley Council a winner in the first round,” she said.

“The $880,500 in funding will be used to subsidise infrastructure required to create 35 serviced, separate title residential blocks at Junction Hill’s Bailey Estate.

“This will cut thousands of dollars off the cost of 35 new blocks at Bailey’s Estate – a significant saving on a block of land for someone trying to get into the housing market.

“The funding will also be used for planning reforms to cut red tape and fast-track development applications, which will have ongoing benefits for housing affordability.

“Earlier this year the council was on the shortlist for the Housing Affordability Fund and now I’m pleased to see that the funding has gone through.”

The Clarence Valley Council’s Affordable Housing Officer, Naydene Beaver, says the funding means the council will be able to do a lot of what it wanted to achieve with its Affordable Housing strategy.

Ms Beaver said the council hopes to have the construction of services for the house blocks completed by the end of the year, so they can be ready for sale.