Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Moreton Bay to cut affordable housing red tape

Community housing providers who build social or affordable housing in Moreton Bay will not pay any development fees or charges, Moreton Bay Regional Council said today.

Mayor Peter Flannery says he will write to Community Housing Providers outlining the incentives on offer in Moreton Bay and with an offer to help cut through red tape.

“Specifically we will waive application and infrastructure fees, as well as waive fees for council infrastructure charges for infill development that capitalises on existing infrastructure proximate to employment catchments,” the Mayor said.

“We all know Australia is facing a housing affordability crisis and Moreton Bay is not immune.

“Statistically speaking Moreton Bay faces an unprecedented acceleration in homelessness compared to our neighbours.

“Between the 2011 and 2016 census homelessness increased 57% here. That’s faster than Brisbane on 39%, much faster than the Sunshine Coast on 6% and far too high above the Queensland average of 9%.”

He said a lack of housing in the region was putting more and more people at risk of homelessness.

“More than 1200 locals are already considered homeless. I think we can all agree that we’d like to see government deliver more affordable housing, tackle high rents and create construction jobs in the process,” the Mayor said.

“Council can’t afford to do any of that, nor can we afford to do nothing.”

Council is hoping it’s proactive campaign will generate interest from providers including but not limited to:

  • Common Ground
  • Coast 2 Bay
  • BRIC Housing
  • Brisbane Housing Company
  • Churches of Christ
  • Vinnies Housing
  • Youngcare
  • Wesley Mission
  • Micah Projects.

Mayor Flannery warned that without a coherent plan at the State and Federal level, Australia’s housing crisis will only get worse.

“There used to be a nation-wide routine annual public housing construction program about 25 years ago,” he said.

“But since 1996 we’ve seen the country’s population boom 40% while social housing stock has only increased 4% in that time, so the problem is clear. 

“Our system has not kept pace with the pressure that’s being put on it, and that pressure’s increasing.”

Council has committed $1.5 million in this year’s budget to build a homelessness support hub in Redcliffe with funding from the State Government.

“I was also very pleased to see that Brisbane Housing Company, with the State Government’s Housing Investment Fund’s support, is investing in social housing in Redcliffe,” said Mayor Flannery.

“The 84 single-bedroom apartments planned as part of the Redcliffe Social Housing Project in Sutton Street will improve the lives of older people in the area.

“While these initiatives are steps in the right direction, more is needed across our region.

“I hope that by being proactive in approaching community housing providers, we can work with them on some immediate opportunities while we wait for a broader solution,” the Mayor said.

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