The Queensland government has struck a deal that will see 1,200 new social and affordable homes constructed.
The partnership between the state-owned Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) and community housing provider Brisbane Housing Company (BHC) will initiate a new model for the state, relying on a commercial partnership to deliver the housing.
Currently slated to take part in two phases, the first phase comprises seven projects comprising 600 homes that will begin construction from 2023 through 2025.
“These seven projects will have an estimated capital value of $250 million and support 225 construction jobs,” Queensland’s Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said.
The initiative is funded through the $1 billion Housing Investment Fund that Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced in the state’s budget for the 2021-22 financial year. The state’s next budget is due to be handed down today (21 June).
A significant tranche of the state’s funding, the Housing Investment Fund is earmarked for projects that will increase the state’s social housing supply or upgrade its current social housing portfolio. The first two new projects to receive support from the program were announced last month, with building set to begin soon at Ethel Street, Chermside, and Sutton Street, Redcliffe.
Mr Dick credited the fund with attracting the kind of new initiatives such as the BHC partnership.
“When applications opened for the $1 billion Housing Investment Fund, we told the market we were seeking proposals which identified new solutions to deliver housing for vulnerable Queenslanders.
“This commercial partnership is a model that has not been seen before in Queensland. It will see BHC leverage QIC’s strong track record of securing and managing institutional investment to deliver new social and affordable housing,” he said.
Minister for Communities and Housing Leeanne Enoch acknowledged that partnerships were needed for the state to reach its ambitious affordable housing targets.
“The Palaszczuk government is backing the largest concentrated investment in social housing in Queensland’s history – $2.9 billion in funding, including $1.9 billion over four years for the new Queensland Housing Investment Growth Initiative,” Ms Enoch said.
“This will increase the social and affordable housing supply by almost 10,000 over the life of the Queensland Housing Strategy, including 7,400 new social and affordable homes.”
Mr Dick noted that more information on the second phase of the partnership would follow.
“The state government will continue to work collaboratively with BHC and QIC to finalise sites and contracts for each project, with further sites to be announced as they are secured,” he said.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.