Housing affordability solutions ‘should avoid one size fits all’

Despite softening rental rates and housing prices in regional Queensland cities, there are still housing affordability issues facing lower wage earners and welfare recipients.

Those facing economic stress or social and psychological stress may also experience housing issues.

That’s according to CQUniversity property researchers, who caution against solutions relying on quick fixes or a one-size-fits-all approach.

“Offering assistance is not the overall solution to the problem but governments should develop self-help housing developments,” says CQUniversity’s Dr Delwar Akbar, who presented his group’s findings at a recent property conference.

“Stakeholder suggestions included that rental assistance or other types of housing support should be designed based on supply, demand and population characteristics, based on the geographic and social region.

“The macro level requires adoption of affordable rental legislation and the political will to deliver targeted affordable housing.

“Affordable housing solutions should be customised to achieve best value for dollar.”

Dr Akbar says community or social housing should not be seen as the desired ‘lifestyle’ for generation after generation.

He said that public-private partnerships could deliver affordable housing and social housing providers could be encouraged to introduce various models of housing development and dwelling facilities.

“There should be better use made of land, specially designed with a mix of housing options, while improving public transport and community infrastructure.

“Other initiatives could include increased funding for crisis housing and the waiving of stamp duty to reduce purchase costs.”

The CQUniversity property researchers have outlined strengths and weaknesses of a range of previous initiatives, including first-home buyer grants, community-based housing initiatives, Commonwealth Rental Assistance, the National Rental Affordable Scheme, subsidy/assistance to low-cost land development, and the Resource Industry’s Rental Subsidy Scheme.

The CQUni research was conducted in 2016-17 with the support of Centre for Tourism and Regional Opportunities (CTRO) and Barry O’Rourke from Queensland Government Department of Housing and Public Works (DHPW) Rockhampton Regional Office.

Source: CQUni

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