Redland City Council has proposed allowing caravans and motorhomes to be used for temporary residential accommodation on large blocks in a bid to boost the city’s affordable housing supply.
Councillors voted at the July general meeting to progress a suite of measures aimed at tackling the housing crisis.
The push for more affordable housing comes as the rental vacancy rate in Redlands remains at just one per cent and amid reports of families staying long term at caravan parks to keep a roof over their heads.
Seven initiatives were tabled for consideration at the council meeting, including allowing caravans or motorhomes to be used for temporary residential accommodation on large lots in the rural zone.
Officers wrote in their report that the strategy was designed to provide “cheaper and more sustainable” housing for those who may not have access to emergency facilities, public housing or affordable rentals.
The report noted that utilising rural allotments larger than one hectare, as opposed to smaller urban blocks, would mitigate “potential amenity impacts”.
Officers will consider several parameters when drafting a policy, including minimum setbacks from neighbouring dwellings and limits on the number of vehicles permitted on each site.
The arrangement, which is subject to community consultation, would be trialed for a period of two years.
Council has also proposed amending the City Plan to allow dual occupancies on lots greater than 700 square metres in the low-density residential zone.
The move is intended to “increase supply and support the delivery of smaller, and potentially more affordable housing typologies”.
Council resolved to have officers draft a standalone major amendment and prepare a report for consideration at a general meeting before the end of October.
Other proposals included adopting an affordable housing policy that would provide discounts on development application fees and infrastructure charges for community housing providers (CHPs).
Council also proposed reviewing its land holdings portfolio to identify opportunities where it could transfer land to CHPs for affordable rental housing.
And in a further commitment to growing the city’s housing supply, council has suggested waiving pre-lodgement meeting fees for CHPs.
Similar policies have been rolled out in other local government areas such as Logan, Brisbane, Noosa and the Sunshine Coast.
A council officer told the meeting that affordable housing would cater for a broad range of residents.
“Often affordable housing is targeted to be made available to people entering the workforce,” he said.
“They might be nurses who have just graduated, so they have a diminished income and a reduced capacity to enter the private housing market.”
Cr Lance Hewlett said he was supportive of all policies except option two, which proposed freehold titling for townhouse developments in the LMDR and MDR zones.
This forms part of council’s medium density residential amendment package which was submitted to the planning minister in 2022.
The state government has hit pause on the proposed amendment as it completes the Redland Housing Strategy.
“Being an ex-townhouse owner, I know the importance of having a body corporate to maintain the amenity,” Cr Hewlett said.
“I was recommended by a solicitor not to buy a townhouse without a body corporate because it’s just rife for problems.”
Cr Rowanne McKenzie, speaking after the meeting, said the community was looking to all three levels of government for solutions.
“We can also review our own local laws to allow caravans and motorhomes to be lived in on large properties within our city.
“I personally have lived in such accommodation throughout my life and allowing this type of living option provides safe accommodation instead of people living in vehicles in car parks.”
Councillors unanimously endorsed all seven recommendations. A report will be prepared for consideration at a general meeting before the end of October.