A new plan to fast-track the delivery of thousands of new homes and improve housing affordability in Brisbane has been unveiled by Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner.
Under the Schrinner Council’s new Housing Supply Action Plan, significant financial incentives will be offered to both private and community housing providers to deliver homes sooner.
The landmark scheme, as well as anti-sprawl initiatives to relax height and car parking requirements in inner-city and designated areas near shopping centres, will incentivise new homes within existing inner city, high-density and principal and major centre zones.
Cr Schrinner said the new Housing Supply Action Plan built on Council’s existing measures to assist in addressing the housing crisis, including the Kurilpa Sustainable Growth Precinct Plan and the Suburban Renewal Precincts scheme.
“Brisbane is Australia’s fastest-growing capital city with more and more people wanting to come and live here,” he said.
“We’re going to need about 8500 new homes a year to meet this demand, according to the State Government’s draft South East Queensland Regional Plan.
“Yet the development and construction industries are currently falling well short of that due to increasing costs, supply chain disruptions and labour shortages, creating a perfect storm that’s led to the housing crisis.
“With 96 per cent of all homes built by the private sector, clearly government alone can’t solve this crisis.
“To get things moving, we’re incentivising industry to build new homes by reducing infrastructure charges for eligible projects.
“Our plan is the biggest step taken so far to kickstart the construction of new homes but I firmly believe it’s the right thing to do with the limited levers Council has to help solve the housing crisis.”
Under the ‘Housing Supply Action Plan’, Council’s infrastructure charge waivers include:
• 75% reduction for studio, one and two-bedroom apartments within inner-city, high-density principal and major centre areas with an existing approval since 1 January 2022
• 75% reduction for studio, one and two-bedroom build-to-rent apartments within inner-city, high-density principal and major centre areas with an existing approval since 1 January 2022
• 50% reduction for studio, one and two-bedroom apartments within inner-city, high-density principal and major centre areas approved from 1 September 2023 onwards
• 50% reduction for studio, one and two-bedroom build-to-rent apartments within inner-city, high-density principal and major centre areas approved from 1 September 2023 onwards
• 100% permanent and ongoing reduction for registered community housing providers
Approved projects will need to be completed within four years from today to access the 75 per cent reduction.
New projects will need to be approved by June 30 2025 and completed within four years from approval to access the 50 per cent reduction.
Around 3000 fully-approved homes within the designated areas that are not yet under construction will be immediately eligible for a 75 per cent reduction in infrastructure charges.
Thousands more homes set to be approved from September 1 will benefit from the 50 per cent infrastructure charge reduction under this targeted incentive scheme.
Cr Schrinner said the Housing Supply Action Plan specifically encourages sustainable growth within the existing inner-city and high-density footprint as well as designated zones around major shopping precincts.
“Just 724 apartments were completed in Brisbane last year when the average over the last eight years has been almost 4000,” he said.
“Over the last three years, a further 35,000 people have moved to Brisbane while the number of rental properties has declined by 9500.
“These stark figures show how tough it is to build at the moment and demonstrate why we must act.
“Our plan to waive charges for homes built over the next few years will help put a roof over thousands of heads at a time when it is urgently needed.
“Our plan will help deliver more homes in areas already well-serviced by public transport and facilities while preserving our character and low-density suburbs.
“By growing up, not out, we can sustainably preserve Brisbane’s character and incredible lifestyle while welcoming all the new residents that want to call our city home.”
Property Council of Australia Queensland Executive Director Jen Williams said:
“The Property Council applauds Brisbane City Council for this outstanding initiative that will enable the delivery of much-needed homes in highly desirable locations across the city,” she said.
“It has never been harder or more expensive to deliver new homes in Queensland, which is reflected in the drop off in the number of dwellings approved, under construction or completed in recent years.
“An alarming number of projects have been placed ‘on-hold’ indefinitely, as the cost of delivery has rendered countless housing proposals unfeasible. This comes at a time of record interstate migration, and a population surge that is expected to continue over the coming years.
“This welcome initiative from Brisbane City Council takes advantage of existing investment in infrastructure and will help reduce the cost of delivery for private sector and community housing providers.
“Infrastructure charges form a major component of the cost of delivery of new homes. This welcome reduction in the input costs of construction will go a long way to getting more homes on the ground, sooner.”
Brisbane Housing Company Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Oelkers said:
“Brisbane City Council’s Housing Supply Action Plan will be a gamechanger for community housing providers like BHC, who are doing everything they can to make much-needed social and affordable housing developments feasible in these challenging times.
“We congratulate Brisbane City Council for the leadership they are showing, in using the levers at their disposal to attract and promote investment into diverse and affordable housing across the city.
“Relief from infrastructure charges shifts the dial for community housing developments and will directly result in new homes being delivered to assist Brisbane residents in housing need.”