Soaring demand lifts affordable housing

SOARING rental demand across Southeast Queensland is driving higher levels of private investment in affordable housing schemes — a boon for struggling families.

Demand for affordable housing has shot up in the past few years, according to Jason Cubit, chief executive of Horizon Housing Company, as more workers and working families face housing stress.

“In 2017, the Gold Coast ranked in the 20 most unaffordable areas in the world, with housing costs around nine times the median income and the median house value up 6.6 percent year-on-year,” Mr Cubit said.

Without the security of a double-income household, rental affordability was a real struggle in parts of Queensland such as Brisbane and the Gold Coast, he said.

The firm invests in affordable housing projects across the state using financial incentives in schemes such as the National Rental Affordability Scheme.

According to the Queensland Government, “The annual income-tax free incentive for 2018/2019 is currently $11,192.13 per dwelling and is indexed annually to the rental component of the CPI.” Of that, the Commonwealth Government contributes $8394.10 per year for 10 years as a refundable tax offset or payment, and the Queensland Government contributes $2798.03 per dwelling per year for 10 years as a cash payment for dwellings in Queensland.

Mr Cubit said, “living in Australia is becoming increasingly difficult, and unless we find ways to increase supply to meet demand, the result is going to be another increase in homelessness — which is unacceptable”.

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