Social housing commitment welcomed as a down payment on accommodating rapid growth

The Property Council has today welcomed the Queensland Government’s commitment to increase investment in social housing, as the state’s population growth is forecast to continue, placing enormous pressure on housing supply and affordability.

Incoming Queensland Executive Director of the Property Council, Jen Williams, said housing shortages are already at a flash point in some parts of the state, and ensuring that housing supply keeps up with population growth is going to be critical as Queensland enters a golden decade of opportunity in the lead up to the 2032 Olympics.

“To maintain our enviable lifestyle, we must preserve our affordability advantage and ensure that the most vulnerable members of our community have access to this basic human right,” Ms Williams said.

“COVID has resulted in many southerners reassessing where and how they want to live. And the answer for many is Queensland. Over the coming months when we are announced as an Olympic City and the international borders re-open, the pace of growth will certainly shift a gear again.

“Greater investment in social housing will be critical in ensuring the entire community benefits from the opportunities that the state’s newfound international attention will bring. But that’s not all we need.

“Aside from a direct investment in housing stock, Government must take action to fast-track and unlock new private housing- particularly in greenfield areas where demand is currently at its highest levels ever. This will require an investment in the infrastructure required to both unlock new developments and facilitate mobility across the state.

“Similarly, we also need a commitment to facilitate new and innovative housing models like ‘Build-to-Rent’ that can quickly increase the supply of rental housing and improve the quality of life for the many thousands of Queenslanders living in rental accommodation.

“The industry has previously welcomed the Government’s Build-to-Rent pilot projects as an acknowledgement of the benefits of this housing typology. These pilot projects must now be matched with a commitment to address taxation and regulatory hurdles so that this sector can turbo-charge the pace of delivery of quality rental housing in Queensland.

“While on the one hand this Budget introduces a welcome increase in investment in social housing, this is being hampered by the many policy and regulatory changes currently underway within Government that will directly impact the cost of new housing.

“Just today the OECD highlighted that Australia’s housing crisis is being driven primarily by excessive and restrictive government regulation. The Government’s hurried approach to embed changes to the National Construction Code and move to increase charges on development on land within Economic Development Queensland’s remit, are just two examples of the type of harmful regulations the OECD report referred to.

“While the Government’s critical investment in social housing is most welcome, it must be seen as a down payment on capitalizing on the much larger opportunity ahead as we welcome many new Queenslanders in the lead up to the Olympics. We must heed the OECD’s warning, and make the process of delivering new housing in Queensland simpler and less expensive, enabling Queensland to facilitate more, affordable, diverse housing choices for all people.”

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.