Thursday, February 22, 2024

Goondiwindi issues granny flat reminder amid housing crisis

Goondiwindi Regional Council Mayor, Lawrence Springborg AM, has issued a reminder to granny flat owners to check their structures are compliant before entering the hotly-contested local rental housing market.

The Mayor said recent changes to Queensland planning rules meant more homeowners were now able to consider granny flat rentals.

Council says while the rental of a secondary building is encouraged, homeowners are being reminded that they will need to seek any required approvals first.

Mayor Springborg says the residential rental market in Goondiwindi is the tightest it’s been in a decade, with increasingly high demand in the town over the past 12 months.

“The condition of the local rental market I think speaks to the liveability of the Goondiwindi Region and the demand for our regional lifestyle,” he said.

“There is a real sense of confidence and attractiveness to the Goondiwindi Region, for newcomers and seasonal workers alike.

“However, we also know that if businesses can’t fill vacancies due to the rental housing shortage, it will end up costing our economy.”

The Mayor is encouraging residents to explore the possibilities of building or renovating to provide extra housing to either be occupied privately or rented – and says Council can assist.

“I’d encourage residents to look into the opportunity if they have or are planning on building a suitable space, which may need Council approval,” he said.

Relevant statutory approvals (such as planning, building and plumbing) must also be gained, which ensures accommodation is safe for occupancy, he said.

“I imagine we’ve all heard in the news about situations where some potentially really dangerous situations have transpired, such as lack of ventilation, where the right approvals have clearly not been sought.”

“At the end of the day, this could result in loss of life – we don’t want that in our region and the reality is that the regulations are in place to protect the tenants and the landowners.”

According to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ)’s Residential Vacancy Report for the June Quarter of 2022, Goondiwindi joined the Southern Downs for the tightest vacancy rate in the state at just 0.1%.

The report showed the vast majority of Queensland continues to endure incredibly tight and relatively flat vacancy rates, well below 1%.

Mayor Springborg says a healthy rental market is necessary to help bring essential skills and workers into the region.

“We need hospital workers, teaching staff, skilled agriculture and seasonal workers to be able to find a place to live close to their place of work in the Goondiwindi Region,” he said.

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