Homes for Queenslanders: the Queensland Labor Government’s housing plan

09 February 2023

On Tuesday 06 February, Queensland Premier the Hon. Steven Miles MP launched the Queensland Labor Government’s housing plan, Homes for Queenslanders.

Homes for Queenslanders is a $3.1 billion investment in the Queensland housing system. It is the largest investment in housing in the state’s history.

The current housing crisis has been exacerbated by cost-of-living pressures and recent natural disasters that Queenslanders have endured. In response, the Queensland Labor Government has developed Homes for Queenslanders to provide secure and affordable housing and lay a foundation for opportunity.

Homes for Queenslanders contains several components which seek to build more homes, support renters, help first homeowners, boost social housing, and work towards ending homelessness.

Build more homes, faster

The first pillar of Homes for Queensland sets a target of building 1 million new homes by 2046.

To achieve this, the Miles Government will invest $350 million to create the Incentivising Infill Fund to encourage development in underutilised areas close to jobs, services and facilities.

The Government will partner with industry on a new pilot Ground Lease Model to unlock more social and affordable homes on state-owned land, in line with the Federal Government’s housing reforms and building on the work of the Housing Investment Fund and Economic Development Queensland.

The plan will also see the creation of a new State Facilitated Development Team to speed up the planning and development process and solve development and infrastructure issues that delay new homes. This will fast track approvals and target applications that include affordable and or social housing. It includes the development of an Inclusionary Planning Pilot Program to test different models of inclusionary planning in Queensland.

Homes for Queenslanders includes a pledge to introduce a Short Term Rental Registration Scheme for short term rental properties following a detailed analysis and consultation with the sector to monitor the impact on the broader supply of long-term rentals.

Support renters

Homes for Queenslanders will invest $160 million in a Renters Relief Package over five years to support renters. This package aims to help tackle the cost-of-living with more funding, expanded eligibility and new ways to help renters into a home, including help with paying bonds and rent.

A portable bond scheme will be established through legislation to reduce the costs of moving by allowing renters to transfer their bond when relocating from one rental property to another.

Several changes will be made to rental laws to strengthen the rights of renters, including:

  • Banning all forms of rent bidding.
  • Creating a framework for parties to agree on installing modifications in rental properties.
  • Protecting renters’ privacy by requiring 48 hours entry notice and developing a prescribed form for all rental home applications.
  • Limiting re-letting costs based on the time remaining on a fixed-term lease.
  • Giving renters a fee-free option to pay rent, and choice about how to apply for a rental property and receive utility charges.

The Government will also undertake consultation with all parties involved in the rental sector on the development of a rental code of conduct to strengthen rules and clarify expectations in the sector.

Help first homeowners

The Miles Government will help Queenslanders enter the property market by doubling the Queensland First Home Owner Grant to $30,000 for new homes until 30 June 2025.

Regional Queenslanders will be supported to buy a home without having to leave their community by increasing the income eligibility threshold for the Queensland Home Finance Loan to $201,000 per year.

First Nations people will be supported into home ownership with the development of an action plan currently underway in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Queensland.

The Government has also committed to introducing state legislation this year to align with the Federal Government’s ‘Help to Buy’ scheme.

Boost social housing

Homes for Queenslanders includes the biggest investment in social housing in Queensland’s history with an aim to deliver 53,000 social homes by 2046.

To achieve this figure the Government plans to invest $1.25 billion of additional funds in the Big Build over five years to deliver more than 2,000 public and community homes per year from 2028.

The plan will also deliver for the most vulnerable Queenslanders through:

  • 8 new youth foyers – to provide stable housing and support for young people who are studying or working.
  • 10 new or replaced domestic and family violence shelters – to provide immediate safety and protection for women and children.
  • 1,200 social homes for First Nations families – through partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander local government authorities and communities.
  • more supported accommodation places across the state – for people experiencing homelessness.

At least half of these new social homes delivered will follow special design standards to suit older Queenslanders and people with disability.

Work towards ending homelessness

Homes for Queenslanders will deliver $390 billion to homelessness services including a 20 per cent increase to every specialist homelessness service across the state.

The successful Brisbane Critical Response Team model will be expanded to every region, with new outreach services and more frontline staff employed in Housing Service Centres around the state.

A new supportive housing policy and framework, developed in consultation with frontline services, will guide investment into the future that addresses the complex reasons a person becomes homeless.

Young peoples experiencing homelessness will be supported through Homes for Queenslanders by:

  • delivering a pipeline of 8 new supported accommodation services for young people experiencing homelessness.
  • providing extra night workers for identified temporary supported accommodation sites.
  • investing in new mobile services to help young people in both their homes and public places find and keep housing.

The Miles Government has also commissioned an independent review of the homelessness service system to assess the effectiveness of Queensland’s current response to homelessness and opportunities for improvement. The review will be undertaken by Ms Rachel Hunter PSM.

Premier Miles has tasked the Minister for Housing, Local Government, Planning and Public Works the Hon. Meaghan Scanlon MP with refocussing the Housing Roundtable as an implementation taskforce of key stakeholders to help deliver Homes for Queenslanders.

Hawker Britton’s occasional papers on Queensland Labor Government policies can be found here.

For more information, please contact Hawker Britton’s Queensland Director John Jarrett on +61 434 384 745.

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