Legislative Council: Tuesday, July 05, 2022


Housing Vacancy Rates

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS (15:35): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question without notice to the minister representing the Minister for Human Services on the topic of vacant properties.

Leave granted.

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: The latest census data shows that 83,821 privately owned units, apartments and houses were unoccupied in August last year. While these properties sit vacant, over 17,000 South Australians are on the waiting list for social housing and 3,000 of those are listed as category 1. If only a quarter of these currently vacant houses were released into the housing market, either as rentals or for sale, it would add 20,000 homes to the supply.

The government has committed to building just 400 new social homes, but it will take time for them to be built. My question to the minister therefore is: given the immediacy of the housing crisis gripping the state and the huge number of currently vacant properties, what does the government plan to do to entice private property owners to release these properties back into the housing market?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Attorney-General, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:36): I thank the honourable member for his very important question. I will refer that to the relevant minister in another place and bring back a reply.