The Queensland Government has announced new initiatives as part of the Homes for Queenslanders plan, which are set to accelerate the delivery of more homes.
$350 million is set to be invested in the new Incentivising Infill Fund to encourage development in underutilised areas – close to jobs, services and facilities.
Feedback from industry included the impact of infrastructure charges on major developments, which is why the fund will provide relief from infrastructure charges for market-ready development.
To qualify for funding, proposals must demonstrate returns to the Queensland community by facilitating smaller, more affordable and well-located housing options.
The State Government said that the initiatives are about maximising opportunities on underutilised land with access to existing infrastructure, jobs and services to protect the natural environment as communities grow.
The Queensland Government has already invested more than $328 million since 2021 in infrastructure to support Queensland’s growing areas through the Catalyst Infrastructure Fund, Building Acceleration and Growth Acceleration Funds.
This has unlocked more than 25,000 new lots across South East Queensland.
The State Government is also exploring different financial and commercial models to partner with the private sector, encourage supply and demonstrate what can be done on state-owned land.
The Government will partner with the industry to unlock more social and affordable homes on state-owned land through a new pilot Ground Lease Model.
The Ground Lease Model aligns with the Federal Government’s national housing reform blueprint which calls on State Governments to open-up more state-owned land for housing.
It also builds on the housing delivery and financing models already being delivered in partnership with community housing providers and the private sector through the Housing Investment Fund and Economic Development Queensland.
A further measure of the Homes for Queenslanders plan will see the creation of a new State Facilitated Development Team. This team is expected to speed up the planning and development process and solve development and infrastructure issues that delay new homes.
This new pathway is set to fast track approvals of state significant proposals and will be targeted on applications that include affordable and/or social housing.
The new State Facilitated Development Team will also manage five new pilot projects to test different models of inclusionary planning in Queensland, under an Inclusionary Planning Pilot Program.
The pilot projects will aim for around 20 per cent affordable housing products by using various incentives such as density bonuses and alternative car parking rates to test the commerciality of different models.
The State Government has said that it will soon be inviting proposals for the first tranche of Inclusionary Pilot Projects to be run by the new team.
Pilot project locations will be explored in Varsity Lakes, Mango Hill and Pimlico.
Queensland Premier, Steven Miles, said that a key pillar of the Homes for Queenslanders plan is building more homes faster.
“The Infrastructure Infill Fund, combined with initiatives like the Ground Lease Delivery Model, will deliver more housing options in demand areas – close to schools, transport and healthcare,” Mr Miles said.
“This funding is in direct response to the feedback we’ve received from industry.
“My government is listening, and we want to work together to get the job done.
“As Queensland grows, so must our approach to partnering with industry players to unlock more social and affordable homes.”
Queensland Minister for Housing, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Public Works, Meaghan Scanlon, said that the fund will unlock the type of homes Queenslanders need – that are more affordable, the right size and allow access to daily needs.
“We want to create new opportunities in urban areas so that younger generations can enter the market, and older generations wanting to downsize can stay near their families,” Ms Scanlon said.
“The Ground Lease model will also encourage new players and new investment into the housing market, and we are working hard to partner with the private sector to enable more housing supply, including social and affordable housing.
“Homes for Queenslanders will unlock more homes, faster, because every Queenslander deserves to have a place to call home.”
LGAQ CEO, Alison Smith, said that Queensland councils were among the first to raise the alarm on the housing crisis gripping the state and have presented fair, sensible and workable solutions to provide more safe, secure and available homes.
“We look forward to seeing the details of the further pillars of the State Government housing plan once they are released but it looks like the State Government has heard the call from councils and communities over the past three years that there is a housing crisis and is now taking onboard some of our members’ solutions,” Ms Smith said.
“Councils will welcome infrastructure charges relief however the State Government needs to do more to assist councils, including relief to councils for infrastructure charges for greenfield development, in what is currently a massive and untenable cost-shift.
“The LGAQ supports pilots of inclusionary zoning, as proposed in the plan, but we would not support a mandatory approach, because some parts of Queensland are likely to facilitate this, but not all areas.
“We look forward to seeing the details of the further pillars of the plan once it is released and also look forward to the State Government listening constructively to the views and suggestions of councils and their communities.”
Property Council incoming Queensland Executive Director, Jess Caire, said that it has never been more expensive to build homes in Queensland and that this is a welcome initiative that will assist in fast tracking much needed supply by addressing the single biggest barrier to delivery – cost.
“Research commissioned by the Property Council last year reinforced infrastructure charging relief as a key lever in facilitating development and fast-tracking new housing,” Ms Caire said.
“It is pleasing to see the government has listened to industry’s feedback that more needs to be done to bolster the viability of new housing projects.
“We look forward to working with them on the details to ensure it achieves its intended outcome – rapidly unlocking much needed housing supply for Queenslanders.”
Bluebird Property Managing Director, Riye Arai-Coupe, said that across the state, developers and landowners are working hard to unlock underutilised land to build much-needed affordable new homes.
“We commend the Queensland Government for continuing to actively support and work with the industry to ease delivery constraints and open new housing supply opportunities,” Ms Arai-Coupe said.
“The Incentivising Infill Fund will create many more opportunities for developers and community housing providers to build new homes in more locations that offer good access to public amenities such as transport, schools and employment.
“Any support that aids in reducing the cost of building more affordable homes in well-serviced areas is very welcomed by the industry.
“The new Ground Lease Model pilot will ultimately unlock new land and opportunities to build new social and affordable housing that has otherwise not been readily available to community housing providers and the private sector.
“Unlocking state-owned land for housing while reducing the cost of new homes will also attract new investment into social and affordable housing and will enable further growth in new housing supply.”