Queenslanders Deserve Affordable Housing
THE REIQ IS SEEKING MORE INVESTMENT IN SAFE, SECURE AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING.
Safe, secure and affordable housing is the foundation on which we build connected and resilient communities.
As more and more people choose to make Queensland their home, it’s imperative that we act now, with a long-term and sustainable vision, to support and safeguard the housing needs of current and future generations. Social and economic changes have created pressures on the system, but with the added COVID-19 pandemic we now face a situation that would have been inconceivable 20 years ago. Nonetheless, those households seeking housing assistance more recently have undergone immense change.
With over 36% of Queensland’s population renting their home (approximately 1.2 million), it’s no surprise that we’ve seen a shift in our State’s rental composition to more affordable rental supplies in outer urban and regional areas during COVID-19. On the plus side it helps break up their mono-tenure and supports more local economies to withstand the pressures of the pandemic we’re witnessing in our larger cities. However, such limited rental supplies have the potential to result in poorly matched housing preferences and impact the urban spatial structure and functioning of these same regions – such as transport costs, labour markets and access to services and amenities. It also shows that there’s a decline in government investment in social housing with more low-income renters in the market.
The rental sector plays a critical role in Queensland’s housing system and the role and size of our investor market has never been so important. Any further tightening in rental availability levels will only place additional undue pressures on our housing sector which is why more needs to be done to better support both increased and ongoing property investor activity in the Queensland property market and the contributions they make to the State economy.
Furthermore, access to good quality, affordable housing is fundamental to wellbeing. It can help reduce poverty and enhance equality of opportunity, social inclusion and mobility. Affordability is critical for those low-to-moderate income households wanting to transition from renting to home ownership. Many factors impact the supply, demand and cost of housing across the country, including Australia’s growing and ageing population and government policies.
The REIQ recommends forming an industry reference committee made up of relevant stakeholders to advise on specific service proposals specifically aimed at helping legitimate low-to-moderate income households transition from renting into home ownership across affordable property price points. With eligibility criteria to be devised across income thresholds and no prior ownership of property, incentives should also be established for those willing to relocate to regional Queensland to help sustain local economies and drive population growth.
1: ABS: Survey of Income & Housing (June 2018)
2: ABS: 3101.0 – Australian Demographic Statistics (Dec 2019)
3: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2018
4: The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019