Greater investment in social housing will pull Queensland out of its current housing crisis and contribute to a stronger post-COVID economy, say QCOSS, Master Builders and the Property Council. All three major industry bodies want to see the Government deliver a large social housing investment in next month’s state budget.
QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh said: “for too long, we’ve been using emergency sandbags against what is a tsunami of need. Investment at its current pace is simply not meeting demand.
“There are 47,000 Queenslanders who do not have a safe place to call home tonight. With record numbers of interstate migration and record low vacancy rates, the Queensland Government must act on the housing crisis”.
Master Builders Queensland Deputy CEO Paul Bidwell said: “Master Builders strongly supports the Palaszczuk government investing in social and affordable housing in the upcoming State Budget.
“We have seen first-hand the economic benefits from HomeBuilder, the state government’s Regional Home Building boost grant and the Works for Tradies program put in place to help our state recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.
“It’s vital the Queensland Government continues to support Queenslanders, ensuring they have a roof over their heads with an injection of capital for a range of social and affordable housing.
“We know that for every $1 million of spending on residential construction, nine full time jobs are created, and an additional $2.9 million of economic activity is generated, making our industry the heartbeat of our economy.”
Investing in social and affordable housing should be one of the highest priorities for the State Government, said Jen Williams, Queensland Deputy Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia.
“Queensland is facing a shortage of supply across the entire housing spectrum. Sadly we know that undersupply has a trickle down effect, so that those who are already the most vulnerable in the community are the most likely to be affected by a housing shortage.”
“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.”
“The private sector, not-for-profits and the community housing sector have consistently called on Government to tap into the capacity of their sectors to address the State’s prolonged underinvestment and the ever-increasing scale of demand for government-assisted housing.”
“Along with delivering new housing supply, Queensland must address 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.”
“Programs like the Government’s Build-to-Rent pilot project are providing welcome opportunities for the delivery of affordable housing, however they are a drop in the ocean when it comes to the extent of community demand.”
“Rather than ‘going it alone’ Government must look to partner with the private and community housing sectors to repurpose existing stock and deliver substantial new stock, as this will see every dollar of government investment multiplied.”