Boosted Grant: Queensland’s Housing Challenges Addressed
In a proactive response to the declining home ownership rates among young…
22 August 2023
In a bold move to address Australia’s severe housing supply shortage, the National Cabinet has unveiled an ambitious blueprint targeting the construction of 1.2 million homes over the next five years, beginning July 1, 2024. The plan, conceived to alleviate the pressing housing crisis, represents a substantial increase of 200,000 homes from the previous Accord target set just last year. This renewed focus is backed by a $3-billion incentive program designed to encourage states and territories to implement the necessary reforms to enhance housing availability and affordability.
The cornerstone of this initiative is the $3 billion “New Home Bonus,” which aims to reward jurisdictions that surpass their quotas of well-located homes specified in the National Housing Accord. States and territories that outperform their targets will receive performance-based funding, amounting to $15,000 per additional residence constructed. This innovative approach aligns with the consensus that bolstering housing supply is the most effective means of ensuring safe and affordable housing for Australians.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese emphasized that this new target is a critical step toward achieving the ultimate goal of better housing access. “All governments recognize the best way to ensure that more Australians have a safe and affordable place to call home is to boost housing supply,” he asserted. The consensus among experts is that the plan signals a promising shift in addressing the housing crisis through comprehensive and coordinated measures.
The Property Council’s Chief Executive, Mike Zorbas, praised the National Cabinet’s commitment to tackling the housing supply deficit collectively and strategically. Zorbas noted that the plan strikes a “sensible balance in progressing toward affordable new housing supply.” He commended the focus on competition-style payments for states that excel in city planning and housing supply performance.
In addition to the New Home Bonus, the Housing Support Program will allocate $500 million to fund initiatives that kick-start housing supply in well-located areas. These initiatives include connecting essential services and amenities to support local housing development, enhancing planning capacity, and streamlining approval pathways.
The plan also emphasizes a national planning reform blueprint to address critical planning matters. This reform will ensure that planning systems can accommodate the necessary creation of new dwellings to meet the growing housing demand. By promoting medium and high-density housing in well-connected areas and streamlining approval processes, the plan seeks to expedite the development of secure and affordable homes.
Moreover, the National Cabinet’s agreement includes measures to strengthen tenant rights and protect renters. These measures comprise limiting rent increases to once a year, introducing nationally consistent policies for genuine grounds of eviction, and implementing minimum rental standards.
While the plan received overall positive feedback from the property development sector, some experts remain cautious. The Housing Industry Association’s Deputy Managing Director, Jocelyn Martin, acknowledged that the plan represents a significant step toward reforming the planning system. However, she stressed the importance of timely implementation and overcoming challenges such as rising costs and delays in approvals.
Despite varying opinions, the consensus remains that an innovative and collaborative approach is essential to alleviate Australia’s housing supply crisis. As the plan is put into action, stakeholders are hopeful that it will make a tangible impact on the lives of Australians in need of safe and affordable housing.