ACCC authorises agreements to promote affordable housing

23 November 2018

The ACCC has granted authorisation for arrangements between SA Housing Authority, Renewal SA and land and property developers, which are designed to increase Adelaide’s supply of affordable housing.

This authorisation enables developers to agree to requests from SA Housing Authority or Renewal SA which could otherwise be a breach of competition laws, including agreement to cap prices for some properties, to rent or sell to certain identified tenants or purchasers, or agreement not to compete for the rental or sale of property.

The South Australian government’s stated goal is to make 15 per cent of all new significant developments available as affordable housing for people in the low to moderate income category, such as people employed in the health care, social services and administrative support occupations.

“The arrangements are likely to increase the affordable housing stock in the greater metropolitan region of Adelaide. This is likely to benefit people who are otherwise unable to access the general housing market or social housing in the region,” ACCC Commissioner Mr Roger Featherston said.

On 27 September 2018, the ACCC issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation for 10 years. No concerns have been raised about the arrangements.

“Housing affordability criteria are set and published by the South Australia government and developers have a wide range of land and property developments from which to choose,” Mr Featherston said.

Authorisation is granted until 2028.

Further information, including a copy of the ACCC’s determination, is available at SA Housing Authority and Renewal SA.

Notes to editors

Authorisation provides statutory protection from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Broadly, the ACCC may grant an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment.

Background

In this case, SA Housing Authority and Renewal SA, and land and property developers may be considered competitors for the supply of affordable housing.

Therefore, by arranging to cap prices and not compete for the supply of rentals and the sale of properties, they risk breaching competition laws unless they have ACCC authorisation.

Release number: 
239/18
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