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Qld government doubles Housing Investing Fund to $2bn

By Zarah Torrazo
24 October 2022 | 13 minute read
Annastacia Palaszczuk reb

The Queensland government will bolster its Housing Investment Fund (HIF) to $2 billion, effectively doubling the financing for the building of 13,000 new dwellings in the state. 

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk unveiled the $1 billion investment boost as she hosted an emergency housing crisis summit on 20 October. 

During the event, over 100 representatives from governments, social services, charities, property and construction sectors came together to address critical issues, including unlocking land and housing supply, fast-tracking social housing, as well as the need for collaboration on housing by all levels of government and the private sector.

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According to Ms Palaszczuk, the increased investment would help more Queenslanders get into new homes at a faster rate.

“To tackle the housing challenge being faced right across Australia, we need to find short-term solutions and create longer-term strategies to address supply.

“This increased investment means we are now targeting construction of 5,600 new social and affordable homes by June 2027,” she said.

The Queensland Council of Social Services (QCOSS) estimates that at least 5,000 new social housing homes need to be built every year for the next decade to remedy the housing crisis. 

The figures equated to 50,000 new social houses, townhouses or units built by the 2032 Olympics.

QCOSS chief executive Aimee McVeigh said the extra funding was welcome news, but she added that the state needed to build more social homes each year for the next decade as there are still 46,000 people on the social housing register waiting for a home.

“But we must do more. The Premier should not walk away from this summit announcing anything less than a plan that is based on need and ensures every Queenslander has a roof over their head by 2032.

“Now, what we need is a plan based on need with goals and targets, which governments can be held accountable to,” she told the media. 

Commenting on the funding boost, Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said that “now is the right time” to increase the HIF’s capital as it expands the government’s capacity to deliver more housing for Queenslanders.

“This additional investment also recognises the impact that rising costs of building materials and labour is having on prices right across the construction sector to secure much-needed additional supply,” Mr Dick said. 

The HIF has been created to be a sustainable source of funding to build additional housing stock in the state, with Mr Dick noting returns from the fund would now stand at $130 million each year following the investment boost. He added that the boost would help build more accommodation where it was most needed in the state. 

“Tackling housing affordability is not just about more money; it’s also about more innovative solutions,” Mr Dick stated.

The Queensland government recently announced a Private Participation in Infrastructure (PPI) to deliver more affordable and social housing between the Queensland Investment Corporation, Australia’s second-largest super fund Australian Retirement Trust, and Brisbane Housing Company — an initiative that is the first of its kind in the country. 

“We want to encourage more opportunities for private sector investment, including from superannuation funds, to create another supply pipeline for housing,” he added. 

Overall, the state government has now committed almost $4 billion in total to social and affordable housing. 

“[This sets] a new record for the largest concentrated investment in Queensland’s history,” Housing and Communities Minister Leeanne Enoch said. 

She added that the significant fund injection comes at a “this critical time will mean we can house more vulnerable Queenslanders sooner”. 

“Unprecedented pressure on the housing market has highlighted the importance of government and the private sector working together to deliver positive outcomes for all Queenslanders in need of housing solutions,” Ms Enoch stated.  

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