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Business has warmly welcomed a drive to combat the severe shortage of accommodation in two of the Northern Territory’s major regional centres.

Chamber of Commerce Chief Operating Officer Nicole Walsh says the Territory Government initiative is an opportunity for economic investment in Katherine and Alice Springs.

“And it will also address the lack of accommodation, which in turn is making it hard for business to attract staff,” she says.

Workers – ranging from doctors to tradies – find it hard to rent or buy property in either town.

Katherine and Alice Springs are enjoying strong economic growth.

But businesses say finding suitable accommodation makes it difficult for them to recruit the staff needed to expand.

Government agencies, including health, say the lack of property makes it hard to fill important job vacancies.

The Territory Government released a request for tender in November for the Accelerated Regional Accommodation project.

Private developers are asked to lodge proposals for new residential homes in the two towns.

A total of 180 homes will be built in Alice and 240 in Katherine.

Half will be set aside for key workers and the remainder will be offered for sale or rent in the private market.

The request for tender is for a mixture of low and medium density, secure, comfortable and modern homes.

The properties will be designed, delivered and maintained by the private sector.

The Government is committing to minimum 10-year head-lease agreements for the key worker portion of the project.

Suitably qualified and experienced companies able to design, develop and lease back to the NT Government are invited to make their submission by 13 February 2023.

The project is an important element in supporting the Territory Government’s drive to attract people to regional centres – and then help ensure life is attractive enough to retain them.

The commitment to build the homes will bring broader economic and social benefits, including job creation.

Northern Territory Major Projects Commissioner Jason Schoolmeester says: “We are seeing a greater need for more accommodation options in regional areas of the Territory, and the Accelerated Regional Accommodation delivers on this, providing hundreds of new dwellings for essential workers and other residents.

“We will also see the wider benefits of this project within the Territory’s construction industry with the project supporting local jobs over the building timeline, which will flow on into the wider economy.”

For more information on the Accelerated Regional Accommodation project, including opportunities for land owners and businesses/projects looking to rent or buy housing, visit