Keeping affordable housing affordable
  • Thursday 25 June 2009

Appropriate infrastructure, a diversity of housing types, affordable housing targets and staggered delivery is the recipe for ‘affordable living’ proposed in the revised Palmview Position Paper (PPP).

The PPP is part of a framework addressing the Queensland Government’s requirement for affordable housing and ‘developer ready’ land at Palmview, balancing council’s commitment to responsible growth management that delivers affordable living, economic growth and environmental protection to the Sunshine Coast.

Social Policy portfolio holder and Chair of the Housing Affordability Taskforce, Cr Anna Grosskreutz said community feedback supported council’s planning to keep homes affordable.

“In 2009 the wake-up call is that home ownership – the great Australian dream – is an unaffordable dream for too many home buyers,” Cr Grosskreutz said.

“Greenfield developments like Palmview have the potential to lower housing costs according to the theory of supply and demand, however land supply and a ready market is only part of the story.

“Providing transport and services, water and sewerage and telecommunications networks that drive new development are huge up-front costs, as are the community and recreational facilities that make buying into a new community attractive and living there affordable.

“All too soon these costs can load up the price of a new home tipping the scales against the very thing the greenfield development set out to achieve – affordability!”

Cr Grosskreutz said the revised PPP proposed staggering the delivery of essential infrastructure and facilities, and new housing targets that would deliver affordable housing in a well serviced community.

“Concerns about the flow-on cost of infrastructure can be addressed in part by development and infrastructure being rolled out in a prescribed order so that new and existing networks are fully utilised before the next stage starts.

“This will lessen large upfront costs by delivering big-ticket items as needed and help to keep home prices down.”

Cr Grosskreutz said although sequencing would reduce upfront development costs, total costs had to be proportionately shared by developers, federal, state and local government to keep Palmview house prices down.

Cr Grosskreutz said if the appropriate sequencing and funding of infrastructure is achieved and a minimum target of 12.5% of housing in Palmview is within reach of the lowest 40% of income earners on the Sunshine Coast, Palmview will deliver affordable apartments, duplexes and free-standing homes in well-serviced areas, reducing the cost of living and improving lifestyle choices.

The PPP promotes affordable living through easy access to employment and services, ensuring appropriate community infrastructure is provided as well as a quality public transport network, and by facilitating long term savings in water and energy use.

The Palmview Position Paper is a strategic planning document informing the drafting of planning scheme amendments including the Palmview Structure Plan together with related infrastructure planning documents and funding arrangements for the Palmview Structure Plan Area.

Once completed, the draft planning scheme amendments will be forwarded to the Department of Infrastructure and Planning for consideration. Subject to the State’s approval, the planning scheme amendments will then be placed on public display.

To view the revised Palmview Position Paper (June 2009) visit council’s website.