Property and Social Service sectors unite to call for housing action  

Peak bodies representing the state’s property and social service sectors have united to call on the state’s political leaders to commit to boosting the supply of social and affordability housing across Queensland.

The Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) and the Property Council of Australia have today released a joint position paper, aimed at placing housing affordability firmly on the agenda of the incoming Government.

To put downward pressure on housing stress, the organisations are challenging the parties to sign up to  deliver 38,000 new affordable dwellings, and 15,000 new social housing dwellings over the next decade throughout Queensland.

The affordable housing target equates to 10% of the total number of dwellings that the Queensland Government’s Housing Strategy estimates will be required to accommodate population growth over the next ten years. 

Mark Henley, Chief Executive Officer of QCOSS, says that while national media attention has emphasised Sydney and Melbourne's affordability issues, Queensland has some of the worst affordability statistics in the nation.

“Our research shows that 47.6% of Queensland’s low-income households are experiencing housings stress, the highest proportion of any jurisdiction,” Mr Henley said. 

“Low-income households in South East Queensland, and most major regional areas, are spending more than 30% of their income to afford the average rental property and that is not sustainable.”

“Housing is a core human right and is critical to the social and economic participation of all members of our community. It is critical that the State take action to improve the affordability and accessibility of housing in Queensland.”

“Setting a target to deliver 3,800 new affordable dwellings, and 1,500 new social housing dwellings every year for a decade is a necessary first step for policy makers to make a meaningful impact on this problem.”

The joint Housing Affordability: Tackling the challenge together report provides 13 recommendations for the incoming State Government, aimed at delivering better outcomes for Queenslanders across the ‘housing continuum’, from crisis accommodation, to social housing models, through to private rental and ownership.

To achieve the proposed affordable and social housing target, a suite of measures have been proposed including expanding the role of the SEQ Housing Supply Expert Panel, making better use of Government resources, cutting red tape, incentivising supply, and providing more choice for renters.

Property Council Queensland Executive Director, Chris Mountford, says that through these measures government, non-government organisations, and the private sector can work together to make a positive impact on housing affordability and accessibility in Queensland.

“There’s no silver bullet to the complex issue of housing affordability, which means it is often put in the government too-hard basket,” Mr Mountford said.“Ultimately the solution lies in basic economics, we need to match supply with increasing demand for housing.”   

“The suite of policies we are proposing are all designed to aid supply of new dwellings, not just to first home buyers, but across the housing continuum, offering greater access to all Queenslanders.”

“We are calling on all political parties to adopt the measures contained in our joint position paper to ensure we can provide for households on low and moderate incomes, without blowing their budgets.”

The Housing Affordability: Tackling the challenge together joint position paper can be accessed here.

Factsheets on the individual policy recommendations can be accessed here.