Boosted Grant: Queensland’s Housing Challenges Addressed
In a proactive response to the declining home ownership rates among young…
4 August 2023
Southeast Queensland’s housing crisis has been a pressing issue for quite some time, and it is now evident that decisive action is required. In response to this challenge, the Queensland government has unveiled the draft SEQ Regional Plan 2023 Update, a detailed 270-page planning blueprint designed to accommodate an additional 2.2 million residents in the region over the next two decades.
At the heart of this plan is the objective to unlock land and housing supply across the 12 local government areas in the region. The ambitious goal is to facilitate the construction of 863,600 new homes by 2046. It is projected that the population in the state’s southeast corner will soar to six million people during this period, surpassing the current population of Greater Sydney.
The draft plan acknowledges that achieving this growth will require an average of 34,500 new homes annually, along with the enhancement of transport accessibility, job opportunities, and essential services. The next 25 years are expected to present challenges and opportunities of a complexity beyond those experienced in the past.
A key strategy of the plan is to shift the focus from the current dwelling growth ratio of 60/40 (consolidation/expansion) to a more ambitious 70/30 ratio. This means placing a stronger emphasis on consolidation through infill development, unlocking underutilized land, and developing high-amenity sites. Given the limited unconstrained land remaining in the region, this approach is imperative to meet the burgeoning housing demand.
The plan also recognizes the need for diversification in housing types to address evolving housing needs and preferences. It encourages the development of high-density, medium-density, and “gentle density” housing in suitable locations. Additionally, the plan advocates for embracing new housing models such as build-to-rent, co-housing, and micro-housing to broaden housing options.
An admirable aspect of the draft plan is the commitment to making 20% of the region’s new homes social and affordable housing. Furthermore, it seeks to build at least 100,000 homes in proximity to jobs, transportation, and well-serviced areas to enhance livability and accessibility.
The projected housing targets are distributed across various areas, with Brisbane leading the way with plans for 209,700 new homes, followed by the Gold Coast (158,100), Moreton Bay (123,000), and other regions.
The Property Council Queensland supports the draft plan and emphasizes the need for greater housing diversity to cater to the community’s evolving needs. However, they also highlight the importance of addressing challenges related to implementation and the need for robust support from all levels of government.
Recognizing the significance of infrastructure in accommodating the region’s growth, the draft plan is accompanied by the SEQ Infrastructure Supplement 2023, outlining the necessary infrastructure to support the expected population boom.
The success of the plan hinges on effective implementation and collaboration between various stakeholders, including local councils and the construction industry. The latter will play a pivotal role in delivering the required housing and associated infrastructure, especially with the 2032 Olympics on the horizon.
Moreover, enhancing productivity and efficiency in the construction industry is crucial, given the acute shortage of skilled labor and an aging population. Coordinating efforts and addressing supply-side issues are paramount to avoid excessive strain on other sectors of the economy.
In conclusion, the draft SEQ Regional Plan 2023 Update presents a comprehensive blueprint to tackle the housing crisis in Southeast Queensland. By unlocking land, diversifying housing types, and prioritizing consolidation, the plan aims to meet the region’s housing demand while preserving its quality of life. With effective implementation and collaboration, the region can thrive and evolve into a dynamic and prosperous place for its growing population.