The recent landmark decisions by Brisbane City Council (BCC) and City of Moreton Bay Council (CMBC) to wave infrastructure charges for community housing providers are a game changer. It will directly help us, and other social and affordable housing developers, to bring forward the supply of more vital projects.
Incentivising investment in new social and affordable housing supply is crucial to address the unmet housing need across our communities. It is incredibly challenging to make new developments feasible, and every lever – across every level of government – must be triggered to untangle the web and ultimately deliver more new homes, faster.
Waving infrastructure charges for community housing isn’t a silver bullet- but it does remove a large barrier to project viability. In real terms, BCC’s Housing Supply Action Plan will save BHC $2 million in fees across our next three projects alone. These substantial savings will be reinvested towards building more new homes across the city – where more than 8,000 people are currently in need of social housing.
Importantly, these measures show that both Councils have recognised their role as a critical partner in facilitating the life-changing outcomes that community housing can deliver for vulnerable Queenslanders. We applaud BCC and CMBC’s forward-thinking, human-centric approach, putting the needs of their vulnerable communities as a key priority.
Along with these measures, Councils have other levers available to them- such as land contributions or strategic land sales- that can really turn the dial on bringing new supply to life. BHC’s partnership with Toowoomba Regional Council is a great example of a forward-thinking Council doing just this, and we are pleased to be delivering 75 new homes for the Toowoomba community, in partnership with Council.
BHC has an ambitious target to deliver 2,000 new social and affordable homes by 2025. We can only achieve this with more decision-makers at every level of government being willing to step up in this housing crisis, like these councils have, to make the groundbreaking decisions that will create real change.
Rebecca Oelkers, BHC Chief Executive Officer