History of HIA HIA’s story began in Melbourne in 1945 – just after the end of the Second World War – after a chance meeting between two local builders, Bill Hunt and Perce Newton. Recognising the lack of an organisation prepared to represent and fight for them, they came to a decision to get other builders and trades to join them in an association, which would raise the voice of small builders trying to build houses. Memberships grew and extended across the states. After government canvassing, the Housing Industry Association was established in 1965. Today we are the only national residential building organisation, working to build the best home and foundation for every Australian.