The Queensland state government is launching a $70 million build-to-rent pilot project in a move that will see it partner with the private sector to deliver long-term rental properties and affordable housing close to Brisbane's CBD.
The program aims to see the delivery of subsidised and affordable housing in developments alongside homes offered at market rent.
In an announcement made ahead of the Mid Year Fiscal and Economic Review today, Treasurer Jackie Trad said the build-to-rent pilot aims to increase the number of long-term affordable rental properties for low-to-moderate income earners.
“We know that housing affordability is a real issue right across Queensland,” Trad said.
“In particular, key inner-city workers, including nurses, hospitality staff and carers can struggle to afford rental properties in the suburb they work in.”
With many priced out of inner city areas, the pilot project will offer a targeted rental subsidy to the private sector in exchange for providing affordable rental housing within 10 kilometres of Brisbane's CBD.
“This model also has the potential to support hundreds of new jobs as the Pilot Project supports the growth of a new residential property asset class in Queensland,” Trad said.
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The Queensland Housing Strategy 2017-2027 involves a $1.8 billion investment over 10 years to drive targeted investment across the housing sector.
Housing Minister Mick de Brenni said government had committed to building more than 1000 affordable homes in Queensland by 2022, with build-to-rent one of the components to support the rollout of these homes.
“Once we scope the potential of the pilot, in the future, we’ll be able to explore rolling out build-to-rent developments in high-demand areas across Queensland,” De Brenni said.
The Queensland property industry has welcomed state government’s commitment, with Property Council Queensland director Chris Mountford describing the move as “a win-win for the property industry and Queensland renters”.
“This is a very welcomed step toward creating a new way of delivering housing options for Queenslanders,” Mountford told The Urban Developer.
“It will deliver high-quality rental accommodation and provide greater security of tenure.”
Mountford says build-to-rent buildings are developed specifically for long-term rental, often by big institutional investors who have a strong interest in delivering high-quality, well-managed and attractive developments.
“By partnering with the private sector to get these projects off the ground, the government is taking a step towards ensuring build-to-rent gets a foothold in the Queensland market.”
New South Wales was the first state to fund a dedicated build-to-rent model earlier this year, with Minister for Social Housing Pru Goward revealing a Communities Plus housing site, at 600- 660 Elizabeth Street in Redfern, would be home to the nation’s first ever build-to-rent housing model.
Build-to-rent residential development has become a popular form of housing in the UK and the US, designed to assist low to middle-income earners such as nurses and childcare workers get into long-term rental accommodation.
It typically involves subsidies to developers with projects on private land, while providing tenants in build-to-rent developments longer contracts and greater amenity than what is available in the private rental market.
“Internationally, build-to-rent has delivered fantastic outcomes and facilities to tenants and we’re looking to see what the market is open to delivering here,” De Brenni said.