29 February 2012 – A new SA urban renewal authority aimed at increasing the supply and diversity of affordable housing and to accelerate the renewal of social housing stock will start operating from 1 March, the SA Premier and Minister for Development, Jay Wetherilll has told the SA Parliament.

The authority will be responsible for all the residential and industrial land holdings of the Land Management Corporation and Defence SA industrial holdings will be added to this portfolio, Mr Wetherill said. .

It would have a mandate to work on creating a vibrant city, maintaining safe communities and healthy neighbourhoods and having an affordable place to live for everyone.

The authority would work with communities, local government, the private sector and the not for profit sector and would have a strong focus on community engagement, he said.

It will plan all future significant redevelopment projects of assets owned by the South Australian Housing Trust and work with not-for-profit organisations to strengthen the community housing sector so they play a larger role.

Mr Wetherill told the Parliament these functions were about getting South Australians into houses they can afford in places where they want to live.

They were also levers to boost economic activity in the state and to create jobs for the construction industry.

The new authority has advertised for a new chief executive. In the interim, the chief executive of the department for planning, transport and infrastructure, Rod Hook, will act in this role and manage the transition of staff from various agencies from 1 March. Mr Hook will also take on board responsibilities pending formal appointments.

The new authority will contain planners, project directors, land managers and urban renewal staff from the three relevant government agencies.