Housing 2020 Strategy to renew social housing

Published Thursday, 25 July, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Minister for Housing and Public Works
The Honourable Tim Mander

The Newman Government has announced sweeping reforms to the social housing system under what Housing Minister Tim Mander has described as the biggest shakeup in decades.

Mr Mander said the new Housing 2020 Strategy would establish a flexible, regionally based, integrated system that will deliver at least 12,000 additional social and affordable housing dwellings and see at least 90 per cent of all social housing managed by community housing providers by 2020.

"This Strategy is about bringing Queensland's social housing system into the 21st Century," he said.

"Over the past 20 years the composition of households seeking social housing has changed almost beyond recognition. These days, tenants are far more likely to be singles or single parents and more than half have at least one household member with a disability.

"Unfortunately, while the needs of our tenants have changed, the system hasn't.

“For many years, previous governments have continued to build large numbers of detached three and four bedroom houses, clustered into dense suburban enclaves with little regard to the social consequences for tenants or the community at large.

“Those days are at an end. Housing 2020 will see the delivery of five major urban renewal projects, in Logan, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Townsville, Mt Isa and Gladstone to revitalise areas which have a high-concentration of social housing."

As well as new homes and a bigger role for community housing providers, Mr Mander said the sweeping reforms would focus on making housing assistance transitional rather than permanent. 

"While there are those who will always require ongoing social housing, there are others whose barriers to the private market could be overcome with the right support," he said.  

Housing 2020 is about acknowledging and overcoming those barriers and providing real pathways into the private market.

"Unfortunately, under the old system, there was a lack of alternatives which created a ‘social housing or bust’ mentality.

“We want to make sure people have access to the help and support they need to give them the skills and resilience to find and sustain tenancies in the private rental market instead of becoming reliant on social housing."

Mr Mander said the new Strategy also included the delivery of an additional 820 new properties in indigenous communities to help reduce overcrowding, and would assist at least 200 indigenous families to make the move into home ownership.

[ENDS] 10 July 2013

Media contact: Martin Kennedy 0407 643 998