Taskforce supports government program to improve supply of affordable housing
  • Friday 10 December 2010

In its final meeting for 2010, the Sunshine Coast Housing Affordability Taskforce has reaffirmed its commitment to improving affordable housing in the region by supporting the National Rental Affordability Scheme.

The nation-wide NRAS program aims to increase the supply of affordable rental housing by 50,000 dwellings in Australia by providing incentives to investors to allow them to offer reduced rent to qualifying tenants.

Council’s Social Strategy Portfolio holder and Housing Affordability Taskforce Chair, Cr Anna Grosskreutz said that the NRAS program is an important step to improving affordability on the Coast.

“The taskforce is very excited and encouraged by the amount of interest by developers and investors in the program and has been working with the applicants to make sure their ideas and applications are solid,” Cr Grosskreutz said.

“There have been more than 300 applications from the Sunshine Coast—which is a significant number and very encouraging.

“If successful, the outcome is more affordable rental housing for workers in sectors such as education, emergency services, retail, hospitality, construction, health care, child care and social support.”

Cr Grosskreutz said that council recently launched the Affordable Living Strategy as a clear direction to improve affordability on the Sunshine Coast.

“It’s no secret that the Coast is an area of high housing costs relative to income,” Cr Grosskreutz said.

“High levels of housing stress and poor affordability can undermine social cohesion and community bonds and also impacts the local economy by reducing the potential labour supply.”

“NRAS is one of the many strategies that can mitigate that impact.

“Both council and the taskforce have worked to strengthen partnerships with the state and federal governments to improve affordability in the region and we encourage the government to consider the need to increase the amount of affordable housing on the Sunshine Coast when assessing applications.”

Cr Grosskreutz said she was pleased with the progress of the Taskforce in 2010.

“The Taskforce has concluded a busy year by developing a range of actions and a calendar of events for 2011,” Cr Grosskreutz said.

“We look forward to implementing the actions of the Affordable Living Strategy in the coming year.”

The submission closing date for NRAS program applicants is 14 December 2010.