Consultation to focus on housing challenges
The well-publicised Redlands housing strategy has been thrust back into the spotlight as the state government calls for residents to have their say on critical issues of affordability, accessibility and diversity during community consultation this month.
The government launched an unprecedented takeover of the city’s housing strategy in September last year after Redland City Council failed to update its plan at the request of Planning Minister Steven Miles.
Several reasons were given for the extraordinary move, including that council’s City Plan was based on outdated population figures and did not provide enough supply or diversity to address future population growth.
Census data from 2021 reveals houses make up about 83 per cent of all residential dwellings in Redlands, with apartments, townhouses and semi-detached dwellings coming in at 15 per cent.
Residents are being asked to complete a survey about their personal housing needs during the consultation process.
Survey questions focus on the types of dwellings that are needed in Redlands to cater for future growth, with examples listed on the government website ranging from houses and units to granny flats, duplexes, caravans and cabins.
Residents are asked a series of questions about their current living arrangements – such as whether they rent or own their home – and to select their housing preference from a list of several options.
The survey also asks people to rate their top five home ownership priorities, with some of the options including long term security, easy access to public transport and health care, proximity to work and capital growth potential.
Redlands housing has been the subject of intense political debate in recent months, starting with the state government’s housing strategy takeover last September and extending to discussions about plans for the
Southern Thornlands Potential Future Growth Area earlier this year.
It comes amid low rental supply across mainland Redlands, with government data showing vacancy rates remain below one per cent while the city’s population has increased by almost 20,000 people between 2012 and 2022.
Real Estate Institute of Queensland figures show that during the two years of the pandemic, a staggering 160,000 rental properties were removed from the market, with rental listings dropping by 61.5 per cent.
Long-serving Redlands real estate agent Peter Barrett said the rental market had been affected by a number of factors and the housing situation would not improve without addressing each one.
Factors included a shortfall in supply, less new home production and a lack of skilled tradespeople.
“A lot of people took advantage of the COVID boom to cash in their investment properties and these were bought by owner occupiers,” he said.
“Some owners had these properties for 20 plus years and they pushed the money into super. The pool was diminished.”
Mr Barrett said he was at a loss to find a solution but believed the Redlands had a lack of diversity in housing types.
“There is some consolidation which means the blocks are getting smaller. Nothing can happen without boosting supply, boosting trade skills, land subdivision and looking at tax implications,” he said.
“It’s an appalling thought that people are living in cars and couch surfing, but this happens when demand outstrips supply.
“A rental should be about 30 per cent of a person’s income but in some cases people are paying 50 per cent.
“We are bumping into an affordability problem. Can they afford it? Probably not, but the poor buggers have to live somewhere. It’s a real dilemma.”
The state government is also holding three ‘listening post’ consultation events at Capalaba, Victoria Point and Mount Cotton throughout this month. They are scheduled for June 10, 17 and 22 respectively.
For more information and to complete the survey, visit haveyoursay.dsdilgp.qld.gov.au.
Residents will also be asked to provide feedback on the draft strategy when it is released, while detailed amendments recommended for the City Plan will be subject to community feedback and statutory consultation.
Continues: Your say on housing challenges