Housing supply

Qld Government streamlines planning approvals to boost social housing supply

The legislative changes announced by the Palaszczuk government will speed up the process of building community, social and affordable housing.

The Sunshine State is currently experiencing severe supply shortages. According to CoreLogic, Brisbane’s vacancy rate was 0.9% at the end of the September quarter, down from 1.6% in the same quarter of 2021.

Under the changes, eligible community housing providers will be able to apply for an infrastructure designation to streamline development approvals, with Deputy Premier and Planning Minister Steven Miles saying increasing housing supply was paramount to maintain the “great Queensland lifestyle”.

He argues that it “makes sense for these providers to use the same approvals as social housing when building new community housing projects.”

“Currently, new state-developed social housing can go through an infrastructure designation process, which streamlines development approvals, he said.

“We will change the planning rules to allow social or affordable housing projects from community housing providers that meet the criteria to also be eligible for an infrastructure designation.”

The change will mean faster development of social and affordable housing projects across the state.

Sue Pope, chief executive of community housing provider Common Ground, welcomed the changes, which she says will have an incredible impact in enabling community housing providers to “deliver more affordable housing to those who need it most, faster and more cost effectively. .

Mr. Miles added that working with relevant stakeholders, as well as local governments and industry bodies, is relevant to ensuring that nationwide housing issues can be tackled.

He said the new changes would allow community housing providers, such as Common Ground, to “get developments off to a faster start”.

Infrastructure designations provide an alternative route of assessment to a development application with local government and provide a thoughtful, whole-of-government response to facilitate the effective provision of community infrastructure.

The government has implored that proper environmental assessment and consultation is still required, a process that includes broad community consultation and targeted consultation with local government regarding all infrastructure requirements.

Other facilities eligible to apply for designation include schools, hospitals, emergency service facilities, or sports facilities.

The planning framework amendment comes into effect today (October 25) and follows the state government housing summit, which began on October 20 and aimed to address a host of issues related to the state’s housing market. The summit also saw the government present a number of key proposalswho understood the relaxation of planning legislation to support construction activity.