A new committee has been established by the Gold Coast City Council to develop policy and strategy for affordable public housing.
The Housing Strategy Steering Committee, established by the Council following a 1998 Housing Needs Assessment Report and more recent studies into housing in Gold Coast City and its impact on youth and seniors markets, had its first meeting in December.
The meeting provided an opportunity for the stakeholders, including the Property Council of Australia, to meet and clarify their roles and expectations so that the process of developing the policy and strategy for affordable and practical housing can begin.
Issues already identified by the Committee for consideration include the sustainability of housing stock, affordability, energy efficiency, diversity of housing stock and allowing for ageing in place.
According to the Gold Coast City Council Planning Committee (North) chairman Councillor David Power, the Gold Coast’s appeal as a tourist attraction have ensured a strong long-term population growth of 3.4 percent, or more than 12,000 additional residents each year.
“While the strong population growth has positive economic spin-offs for our city,” Cr Power said, “it also creates some major challenges for plannners and our community.
“Over the next 20 years or so we will need to accommodate an additional 250,000 people, and on pure numbers alone, housing so many additional people will present significant challenges, however there are unique features in the Gold Coast’s social and economic fabric which will present additional hurdles.”
Cr Power added that the Gold Coast also faced higher levels of disadvantage than other areas in Queensland and Australia.
“The lower levels of income and high rental rates and house prices mean that an increasing number of people are paying more than 25 per cent of their incomes on housing costs.”
The Steering Committee are examining models in existence elsewhere, including Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne and hopes to produce a report which will cover the housing strategy and policy for Gold Coast City.
Affordable housing continues to be on the agenda in Brisbane. The Property Council has been involved in discussions with the Department of Housing and Brisbane City Council in relation to the establishment of a non-profit organisation - Brisbane Housing Company - to provide affordable housing in Brisbane.
Late last year the Property Council also made a submission to the Brisbane City Council on the first Local Area Plan to go on public display containing provisions requiring affordable housing considerations.