QCOSS (Queensland Council of Social Service) has developed this Position Statement in collaboration with key housing stakeholders following the publication of our QCOSS Housing Policy Review in March 2018 (QCOSS, 2018).
QCOSS believes that everyone has a fundamental right to housing. Yet not all Queenslanders have access to stable, affordable and accessible housing.
Recommended actions under eight domains
The QCOSS housing framework is a holistic, integrated and comprehensive response to declining housing stability and affordability across regardless of a person’s housing needs. QCOSS asks:
1. Establish housing leadership – All levels of government take joint ministerial-level responsibility for a national strategy, funding agreement, independent research and supply body to deliver integrated, evidence-based policy responses, implementing all domains in this framework.
2. Reform tax incentives – Progressively limit investment tax incentives, (including negative gearing and CGT discounts), and divert savings to the supply of social and affordable housing. Transition stamp duty to a land tax, end first home buyer schemes, and implement betterment taxes.
3. Increase incomes – Implement policies that increase employment and wages. Increase income support including increasing Newstart and CRA for low income households.
4. Reform and invest in social / affordable housing – adequately fund social and affordable housing. Relaunch an improved affordable housing investment subsidy to focus on new dwellings. Support community housing financial and social sustainability, investigate stock transfers, simplified administration, subsidies and diverse tenant allocations. Implement targeted shared equity schemes.
5. Improve land planning – place-based planning for adequate infrastructure, transport, access to economic and social opportunities and climate change adaptation. Implement inclusionary zoning.
6. Empower renters – Address the power imbalance between landlords and tenants by improving legal protections for tenants including the prompt return of bonds, more secure tenure, removing eviction without reasonable grounds, implementing minimum standards and capping rent increases. Fund advocacy services and tenant participation initiatives.
7. Reform homelessness programs – Properly fund homelessness services, transition to ‘Housing First’ rapid re-housing in long term housing with wrap around support services to sustain tenancies.
8. Implement inclusive design and supply – Implement secure, indexed funding for disability housing, remote housing, DFV shelters, mental health and other supported and emergency accommodation. Improve indigenous housing outcomes by addressing discrimination, overcrowding, and culturally inappropriate design. Support accessible housing through universal design, independence and fit out. Implement inclusive housing solutions for seniors, youth, migrants and
refugees. Reform regulation to facilitate diverse, alternative, community-based housing solutions.