Property and Social Services sectors unite to call for a new direction in housing policy in Queensland  

The Property Council of Australia and the Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) have joined forces to call on the Queensland Government to establish an independent Housing Supply Council to monitor and make recommendations on the State’s housing market. 

Today (3 March) the Property Council has lodged its submission on the Draft South East Queensland Regional Plan (SEQ Regional Plan), which was released by the Queensland Government for public consultation in October 2016.  

“Through work with QCOSS on housing affordability in Queensland and our consultation for the SEQ Regional Plan, it has become apparent there is a lack of authoritative data available to the Government upon which to make decisions about the future of housing supply in the region,” says Chris Mountford, Queensland Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia.

“The data we are relying on is from as far back as 2008 and 2011, and then makes assumptions about dwelling supply and population projections from then until now,” Mr Mountford says.

“Questions surrounding the data came to a head during public consultation, as Brisbane City Council and the Queensland Government argued over the actual number of dwellings delivered in Brisbane since the last SEQ Regional Plan was released in 2009.

“Like the National model, an independent Housing Supply Council would be tasked with tracking housing supply and demand. and would drive action to meet the needs of community.

“Further examination of the housing markets of our southern neighbours provides a cautionary tale on the importance of meeting the housing supply needs of a growing population.

“From 2001-2011, Sydney produced approximately 17,000 dwellings per year, compared to an estimated demand of over 22,000. As a result of this continued undersupply in the delivery of new dwellings, by 2024, Sydney is facing a housing deficit of 190,000 dwellings.

“Melbourne, which has a strong housing supply monitoring program, delivered 23,500 dwellings per year over the same timeframe. Just this week, Victoria committed to releasing land for an additional 100,000 dwellings over the next two years in the growth areas of Melbourne. 

“The result of this focus on supply has contributed to a 2015 price gap between the two cities of almost $300,000.

“With no clear understanding of the current levels of supply, or demand for different types of housing, there is a real risk that Queensland could head down the path of NSW. That’s why we need an independent Housing Supply Council- to pick up these issues before it’s too late.

Mark Henley, Chief Executive Officer of QCOSS, agrees.

“We know that housing supply is a critical driver of housing affordability,” Mr Henley says.

“We strongly support the establishment of an independent Housing Supply Council to provide the Government with frank and fearless advice on supply at all stages of the housing continuum- from crisis accommodation, through to the private owner-occupier market.

“Housing is one of our most basic human needs. Where there is greater housing supply, there are more opportunities for people on low and moderate incomes. This goes part of the way to solving the housing affordability crisis.

“While there are areas of policy that we do not always agree on, the introduction of an independent Housing Supply Council is one area that the QCOSS is in lock-step with the property sector.”