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Published on August 9th, 2012

HIA welcomes new housing initiative

A new housing program in Queensland has been given the seal of approval from the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

The industry research and lobby group made its support for the new program clear, suggesting that it will not only help to alleviate rental pressure but also stimulate the building and construction sector.

The Queensland government plans to spend $15 million over the next nine months on 185 housing allotments in mining towns such as Moranbah and Blackwater in a bid to ease rental pressure.

Premier Campbell Newman made the announcement on August 6, saying it was time to take action and accelerate the delivery of new lots of land.

He said that land held in Urban Development Areas will be released for housing development in a bid to deliver better real estate options to residents in Central Queensland and various mining towns.

Deputy premier Jeff Seeney said the program will initially be funded by the public purse, however, it is important for businesses to take part in the housing scheme.

According to Mr Seeney, it is imperative that both the private and public sector work together to meet issues of supply and demand.

Mr Seeney's comments come on the back of new reports showing that the cost of living in some mining towns has risen at such a dramatic pace that it is now unrealistic for certain members of the community to continue living in these areas.

Teachers, healthcare workers and policemen are an important part of any rural community but are in many cases unable to afford rents of $1,000 a week or more.

The first parcel of land will be made available in March next year, but the government has indicated that this program may continue into the future so long as there is a high demand for housing in rural towns.

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