In what has been described as an election sweetener, Queensland’s Palaszczuk state government has allocated $1.8 billion over the next 10 years to build more than 5500 homes, many of them for low income earners.
The money will also include $75 million allocated to indigenous housing along with $30 million to reform the housing system and deliver consumer protections for the elderly.
Known as the Queensland Housing Strategy 2017-2027, the 10-year plan aims to help address the State’s long-term housing needs by supporting and accelerating new construction and precinct development.
In actual terms, $1.2 billion will go to renewing existing social housing, while another $420 million will go to building more affordable housing, with an Expression of Interest (EOI) seeking to include builds in a range of areas including Cairns, Townsville, the Sunshine Coast, Ipswich the Gold Coast and Brisbane.
The Queensland government says their housing strategy will also be a bonanza for employment, with an estimated 600 jobs per year to be created from all the building activity.
According to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, the Queensland Housing Strategy would see Queensland take the lead in delivering social and affordable housing in Australia.
“Housing is fundamentally about people and our $1.8 billion investment puts people first,” she said.
“Secure housing enables young people to finish their education. It provides the stability that keeps families together. And it gives people the secure base they need to get and keep a job.
“This $1.8 billion investment is a launch pad for opportunity and aspiration,” she said.
Queensland Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said the Queensland Housing Strategy construction program was focussed on partnerships and creating local jobs.
“This strategy is about partnering with the private sector and community housing providers to create genuine affordable housing, something that hasn’t been done at scale in this country in decades.”
“Government will use underutilised government land and this new funding to leverage new private and community sector investment in affordable housing,” de Brenni said.
Affordable housing builder Common Ground Queensland has welcomed the injection of money into the affordable housing sector calling it a “bold initiative.”
“This is a bold initiative that will fundamentally change the way Government and the service sector respond to people who require assistance to access housing and services to prevent and respond to homelessness. The Queensland Government is to be commended on developing a plan that has the potential to create a generational impact,” said Common Ground Queensland CEO Sonya Keep.