Cross-sector push for investment in housing

The property industry, social services sector and community housing providers have come together to call on parties in the lead up to the October State Election to partner with the private and community housing sectors to deliver 53,000 new social and affordable homes over the next 10 years, to deliver both economic and social benefits to the state.

The Property Council, Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS), Community Housing Industry Association- Queensland (CHIA- Qld) and Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA) want the current social housing target tripled to at least 15,000 new houses, along with a commitment to incentivise delivery of 38,000 new affordable homes. They are also proposing a new approach to how government-assisted housing is delivered.

Investing in social housing should be one of the highest priorities for the State Government, said Chris Mountford, Queensland Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia

“An investment in housing provides the dual benefits of significant job creation for the residential development sector, along with addressing the growing community need for government-assisted housing,” Mr Mountford said.

“Residential construction has the second largest economic multiplier of all industries, supporting nine jobs for every $1 million invested,” he said.

“However, given the State’s prolonged underinvestment and the scale of demand for government-assisted housing, Government must urgently tap into the capacity of community housing providers and the private sector to meet Queensland’s social and affordable housing needs.”

Kristan Conlon, Chair of CHIA- Qld, said, “Adding to the limitations of available housing are the many existing government-owned premises that require significant maintenance, are too big or small for tenants, or do not meet accessibility requirements, meaning they are no longer fit for purpose.”

“Utilising the capacity of the community housing sector- and partnerships with the private sector- to repurpose existing stock and deliver substantial new stock will see every dollar of government investment multiplied,” Ms Conlon said.

“Queensland is fortunate to have a sophisticated community housing sector that has a track record in the delivery and ongoing management of high quality social and affordable housing.”

The groups have joined together behind A 10-step plan to make social and affordable housing a key pillar of Queensland’s economic recovery, which provides a pathway for Government to work with the private and community housing sectors to address the state’s social and affordable housing challenge.

The scale of the problem is not one that can be ignored by Government anymore, according to Aimee McVeigh, Chief Executive Office of QCOSS.

“We have already seen a huge spike in the number of applications for government-assisted housing, jumping by more than 7,500 over the past 12 months. Sadly, there is not enough housing available to address the current backlog, let alone the expected influx of requests for assistance once additional supports from the federal and state governments are phased out at the end of September,” Ms McVeigh said.

“Everyone has a fundamental right to stable, affordable and accessible housing but the government’s existing targets go nowhere near addressing community need.”

Health and safety are additional concerns for Belinda Drew, Chief Executive Officer of CSIA. “Houses provide more than a place to sleep. We have seen throughout the pandemic that homes have become places of work, home-schooling, recreation and retreat.”

“Recent outbreaks have reinforced the importance of a safe place for people to shelter and isolate if needed,” Ms Drew said.

“It is imperative that Government embraces the opportunity to work with both community housing providers and the private sector to deliver a significant uplift in the level of social and affordable housing, and create much-needed jobs across the state,” she said.

ENDS.

Attached:

A 10-step plan to make social and affordable housing a key pillar of Queensland’s economic recovery.

Media contacts: 

Property Council of Australia

Chris Mountford | M 0408 469 734 |  E cmountford@propertycouncil.com.au  

Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS)

Sinead Canning | M 0466 643 467 | media@qcoss.org.au

Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA)

Kristan Conlon | M 0421 613 076 | kconlon@mccullough.com.au

Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA)

Belinda Drew | M 07 3180 1360 | bdrew@csialtd.com.au