Task Force throws support behind ideas to improve housing affordability
  • Wednesday 01 April 2009

The Sunshine Coast Housing Affordability Task Force has agreed to throw its support behind local initiatives to improve housing affordability across the region.

And an initiative such as fast tracking development assessment for affordable housing applications is just one of the recommendations already on the Task Force’s agenda for referral to Sunshine Coast Council.

The Task Force, which met this week, is calling for community members and industry to consider opportunities and projects which could help to improve housing affordability across the coast.

The Task Force, formed in September 2008 from nominated regional community and industry representatives, meets regularly to outline community pressures and proactively explore a collaborative approach to this issue.

Task Force Chair and Council’s Social Portfolio holder, Cr Anna Grosskreutz, said the Task Force was keen to work with both council and the community to help identify appropriate opportunities and would then actively support and advocate to help bring them to fruition.

“The Task Force has already got behind council initiatives to help make the development assessment process for housing easier, smoother and faster,” Cr Grosskreutz said.

“These kinds of changes will go a long way towards encouraging housing affordability within the region by reducing costs in the long-term.”

An overview of the changes occurring in council’s Development Services area was provided to the Task Force at last week’s meeting. They include:

  • Further refinement of electronic development assessment processes which will enable electronic lodgement of applications, improve the ability to track applications and provide benchmarks;
  • Investigation of the Risk Smart System which will reduce processing times for low risk applications;
  • Reviewing the existing planning schemes to improve choice, to encourage small developer investment and to remove blocks in the development assessment process.

“Task Force members are fully supportive of the initiatives being undertaken by Council and have provided industry knowledge to assist in the reform process,” Cr Grosskreutz said.

Cr Grosskreutz said the Task Force encourages other members of the community to consider opportunities to improve affordable housing. Anyone interested can contact the Sunshine Coast Regional Council on 5420 8944 during business hours.

To find out more about the Task Force and access information on housing affordability, visit www.sunshinecost.qld.gov.au and click on About Council/Planning for your Region/Housing Affordability.