Developer discounts to help address housing supply woes

Steven Deare |

Queensland is offering to waive charges on new developments and release state land for social homes.
Queensland is offering to waive charges on new developments and release state land for social homes.

The Queensland government will encourage developers to build more homes in metropolitan areas by relieving $350 million in infrastructure charges.

Premier Steven Miles and Housing Minister Meaghan Scanlon on Saturday vowed to address the state’s housing shortage by also releasing more state-owned land for social and affordable homes.

Mr Miles said the approach to working with industry had to change if the number of homes was to keep pace with Queensland’s growth.

“A key pillar of the Homes for Queenslanders plan is building more homes faster,” he said.

“The Infrastructure Infill Fund … will deliver more housing options in demand areas – close to schools, transport and healthcare.

“This funding is in direct response to the feedback we’ve received from industry.”

Developers will have to show community benefit and provide smaller and more affordable housing to be eligible for the infill funding.

These are more likely to be units and townhouses.

Social and affordable housing will be provided using state-owned land, with the medium-density dwellings part of federal government housing reforms.

The government will also establish a team of bureaucrats to speed up planning and development for affordable and social housing, as well as state-significant proposals.

The team will oversee five new pilot housing projects in Varsity Lakes, Mango Hill and Pimlico based on what is called “inclusionary planning”.

The pilot aims to provide about 20 per cent affordable housing through more flexible planning controls such as bonuses for density.

The state government changes have the potential to usurp the power of council planners.

However, Local Government Association of Queensland chief executive Alison Smith said councils had warned of a housing crisis.

“Councils will welcome infrastructure charges relief however the state government needs to do more to assist councils,” she said.

The association supported the pilots of inclusionary planning but did not want this approach to be mandatory across the state.