Jobs galore: Bold bid to deliver 53,000 new homes



Queensland's peak social services body and the Property Council have combined to call on all parties to launch a massive social and affordable housing scheme that would put roofs over heads and create jobs across the state.

The Property Council and QCOSS say building 53,000 new social and affordable homes over the next 10 years would deliver huge economic and social benefits to the state.

They and others in the housing alliance want the state's social housing target tripled to at least 15,000 new houses, along with a commitment to incentivise delivery of 38,000 new affordable homes.

Investing in social housing should be one of the highest priorities for the state government, Property Council of Australia Queensland boss Chris Mountford said.

"An investment in housing provides the dual benefits of significant job creation for the residential development sector, along with ­addressing the growing community need for government-assisted housing," Mr Mountford said.

"Residential construction has the second-largest economic multiplier of all industries, supporting nine jobs for every $1m invested.

"However, given the state's prolonged under investment and the scale of demand for government-assisted housing, government must urgently tap into the capacity of community housing providers and the private sector to meet Queensland's social and affordable housing needs."

The scale of the problem can no longer be ignored by government, QCOSS chief executive officer Aimee McVeigh said.

"We have already seen a huge spike in the number of applications for government-assisted housing, jumping by more than 7500 over the past 12 months," Ms McVeigh said.

"Sadly, there is not enough housing available to address the current backlog, let alone the expected influx of requests for assistance once additional supports from the federal and state governments are phased out.

"Everyone has a fundamental right to stable, affordable and accessible housing, but the government's existing targets go nowhere near addressing community need."

QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh. Picture: Richard Gosling
QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh. Picture: Richard Gosling

A state government spokesperson said it was already building an extra 215 new social homes across Queensland through its Work for Tradies scheme. "This initiative is on top of the $1.6bn we're investing into 5500 social homes, and the $2bn we've unlocked in the private sector to grow the numbers of affordable homes, supporting Queensland jobs," they said.

"This year alone, our social housing construction is supporting 685 jobs. That's supporting Queensland families when they need it most."

As well as building more social housing, QCOSS has called on the state government to pay for a no-interest loan scheme.

"With so many Queenslanders experiencing vulnerability due to COVID-19, we need to protect the financial wellbeing of Queenslanders from the economic downturn," it says in its submission to the state government.

"We know that predatory lenders now have a larger base to target due to the significant increase of people who have lost their jobs in recent months. People without access to mainstream credit services should be able to access finance free from excessive fees and charges."

The social services body is also pushing for grants to help make low-income homes more energy efficient and cut household bills.




Originally published as Jobs galore: Bold bid to deliver 53,000 new homes