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Housing panel experts on tackling supply

With housing issues being felt across Queensland and the nation, members of the Queensland Housing Supply Expert Panel (HSEP) share some of the biggest challenges the fast-growing Sunshine State should consider in addressing housing supply, affordability and diversity.

Julie Saunders – urban planning and housing (Chair)

“Queensland is going through a transformation. Our unique lifestyle and diverse state are resulting in record numbers of migration. As an Olympic and Paralympic state, this will be set to continue over the next 10 years.”

Julie believes we need to reducing red tape to get efficient delivery of all housing types, maximise the use of our existing infrastructure to support diverse housing opportunities, and support delivery of housing into the regional and remote communities.

Guy Gibson – property development

“We have a spectrum of issues in Queensland … there is a need for more shelter and wrap-around services for the homeless; crisis accommodation for women fleeing domestic violence; a massive investment in public housing to address the backlog and expansion of role of the community housing sector.

“Plus, more greenfield land availability; more infill opportunities for ‘gentle density’; more public spending on urban infrastructure; reduced minimum development requirements and standards to reduce the cost base of new dwellings; and regulatory reform to expedite planning and engineering approvals.”

Natalie Rayment – urban planning

“The biggest challenge, from a planning perspective, is the not in my backyard (NIMBY) mindset that delays, blocks or adds cost to housing. Over time, this influences housing policy to the extent planning schemes ban, gold plate or delay new housing.

“Instead, we need people saying Yes to new housing and diverse housing, and housing policy that legalises (or removes ‘bans’ on) missing middle housing (anything between a house and a high rise – think duplexes, rowhouses or walk-up apartments) in all neighbourhoods, stops gold plating new housing (which simply pushes up costs, like $110,000 per additional car parking space) and speeds up approvals.”

Dr Sharon Harwood – urban planning

“The three biggest challenges that I think will affect rural and regional Queensland are social housing, supply on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned lands and regional planning.

“People on the social housing register have typically been on the register a long time, with high proportions experiencing homelessness, compromised health and wellbeing and a significant proportion who have experienced or are trying to escape domestic violence.

“The regional plans outside of SEQ need far more emphasis on land supply and housing needs. Each local government should work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait land holders when they examine and plan their housing and land supply requirements over a 10-year horizon (including social and affordable housing).

“These local plans should be included within the regional plans and infrastructure planned and scheduled accordingly.”

Darren Mew – property development, urban design and affordable housing

“With around 160,000 households across Queensland falling into the category where people are locked out of or unable to sustain their housing, it is evident that despite best efforts, new approaches are needed to address Queensland’s housing challenges.”

Darren believes we need to diversify our means of supply for affordable and social housing – favour financial and ownership models through community housing providers to capture and retain state investment, in perpetuity, building a solid foundation for compounding growth.

“We need to unlock the latent value of underutilised government assets and housing portfolio – leverage assets for staged urban renewal of precincts across Queensland to underwrite attraction of third-party investment to accelerate housing supply.

“We also need to facilitate social infrastructure contributions – for the financing of affordable and social housing across Queensland, including through town planning frameworks and major projects delivery methodologies.

“Collaboration, partnership, and a willingness to embrace the discomfort of change is required.”

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