ACCC proposes to authorise agreements to promote affordable housing

27 September 2018

The ACCC has issued a draft determination proposing to authorise SA Housing Authority and Renewal SA to enter into arrangements with land and property developers to increase the supply of affordable housing in the greater metropolitan region of Adelaide.

The government of South Australia has set a goal that 15 per cent of all new significant developments should be available as affordable housing.

Affordable housing is to be made available to people in the low to moderate income category, who are often employed in the health care, social services and administrative support occupations.

Under the proposed arrangements, SA Housing Authority and Renewal SA may ask developers to agree to cap prices for properties in some developments, agree to rent or sell to specified tenants or purchasers and agree not to compete for the rental or sale of property.

“The ACCC considers that the arrangements are likely to contribute to an increase in the supply of affordable housing in the greater metropolitan region of Adelaide. People who may otherwise find themselves excluded from both the general housing market and social housing, are likely to benefit from an increase in affordable housing,” ACCC Commissioner Mr Roger Featherston said.

“The arrangements are unlikely to result in public detriment. Housing affordability criteria are set and published by the government of South Australia and developers have a wide range of land and property developments from which to choose.”

The ACCC proposes to grant authorisation for 10 years and expects to make a final determination in November 2018.

Further information about the application for authorisation, including copies of the ACCC’s draft determination and public submissions, 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.

Authorisation is sought as the proposed conduct may contain a cartel provision.

Background

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: 
195/18
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