A new plan by the state of Queensland to construct thousands of homes that may be purchased at an affordable price has been criticized by activists, who argue that it is unclear how the ambitious objective would be fulfilled.
On Wednesday, the Deputy Premier of the state, Steven Miles, made the announcement that south-east Queensland will receive 863,000 new dwellings by the year 2046 in order to accommodate 2.2 million new citizens.
The proposed plan calls for the construction of 209,000 new homes in the city of Brisbane. Additionally, 158,000 new homes would be constructed on the Gold Coast, and 123,000 new homes would be erected in the region represented by the Moreton Bay council.
The twelve different local governments in this area have set a goal to make sure that one out of every five of these residences is affordable.
In addition to this, they will be expected to provide a variety of housing options, with at least 70 per cent of the development taking place within already established metropolitan areas.
Miles stated that the plan would ensure that even with a growing population, Brisbane would not evolve into “Sydney,” where frontline workers are unable to live close to work. This would be possible since the plan would ensure that Brisbane would not have a monorail system.
“To give you a sense of what that might mean, a nurse on an average salary of about $90,000, they would need to pay less than $520 a week in rent for it to be considered affordable,” he told the reporters.
“We’re not proposing that those prices will be locked in [for] perpetuity,” he continued to clarify. “I believe that this is a very reasonable measure to ensure that we continue to deliver homes that are within affordable price ranges.”
Fiona Caniglia, the executive director of Q Shelter, said that while she supported the 20% affordable housing aim, it was unclear how local governments would accomplish the objective. She stated that while she welcomed the target, it was unclear how local governments would meet it.
Aimee McVeigh, chief executive of Queensland Council of Social Services, stated that although she supported the 20% target, additional specificity was required before it could become a “welcome reality.”
According to what she claimed, “around 7,800 social and affordable homes must be built every year across south-east Queensland for the next 23 years” in order for this draft plan to reach the target that it has set out for itself.
“Over the course of the last decade, the Queensland government has delivered approximately 500 social homes each year. This number is just sufficient to keep up with sales and demolitions,”
McVeigh made a plea to the government, asking them to impose inclusionary zoning and enhance money for specialized programs for the homeless.
She stated that in order for governments to be successful in achieving the lofty goals outlined in the plan, they will need to change the way they do things.
Dr Tony Matthews, an urban planning academic at Griffith University, stated that the development industry would make “every effort” to “get around and get out of” the 20% target.
According to Matthews, the direct provision of public housing by the government is the most reliable means to give inexpensive housing to the general people.
“The 20% approach has been used elsewhere before, and it has not resulted in the change on the ground,” he said. “It is time for a new approach.”
“The actual secret to making things more affordable is volume. Developers need to be able to construct sufficient housing so that the cost of each individual unit can be kept at a reasonable level, as he put it.
Matthews stated that the plan may establish a vision but that the plan’s conclusion and how it was implemented would be influenced by market forces.
Amy MacMahon, a member of parliament for the Green Party who represents South Brisbane, stated that the government had “failed” to deliver social and affordable housing and that the target wasn’t “going to cut it.”
MacMahon made a motion that the government should require at least 25 per cent of all newly developed land to be set aside for public housing, which was an idea that the Greens proposed to the parliamentary body back in April.
“Does Labor really think that anyone believes that giving more power and access to wealthy investors and developers, or some more vague targets, will end the housing crisis?” “Does Labor really think that anyone believes in giving more power and access to wealthy investors and developers?” According to MacMahon.
In the preliminary version of the plan, it is stated that the Department of Planning is in the process of talking with other state agencies regarding the introduction of inclusionary planning rules to boost the supply of affordable housing.
According to the plan, policies relating to affordable housing will be changed whenever it is relevant to do so in order to comply with the conclusions of this inquiry for the final ShapingSEQ 2023 Update.
The press attempted to get a comment from Miles, but he was unable to answer in time before the deadline.