Thousands of affordable new homes on horizon
THOUSANDS of new affordable homes would be built across Queensland under a plan to allow community housing companies to borrow against their share in $2 billion of equity in the State's 14,000-strong social housing stock.
Housing Minister Mick de Brenni will today unveil the details of a new "partnering for growth" strategy which he said would allow the State to give the community housing sector the certainty it needs to build more affordable housing without having to sell off any assets.
"The Queensland Government has been making capital contributions to the community housing sector for a generation. That equity has been locked up and unable to be used," he said.
"We have a joint equity in these 14,000 properties. The only return we get on those is the rent that is paid.
"The estimates of that equity are now at $2 billion and we have decided that we will allow the community housing sector to access that equity to borrow against to build new affordable housing across the state.
"Partnering for Growth is specifically designed to allow community housing providers to build the homes, to offer them for affordable rent, to establish build to rent programs, to establish shared equity products and affordable home ownership."
Companies would need to provide a five-year "pipeline of growth" to borrow against their share in the equity which Mr de Brenni said would also help give the banks the certainty they needed to invest.
"All of these community housing providers are backed by us," he said.
"We have got a AA+ credit rating.
"We are the only jurisdiction unlocking equity in this way without selling off publicly owned assets.
"This is a really strong signal to institutional capital: come and do a deal in Queensland, you will get a good return and you will deliver a good social outcome."
He insisted there would be no financial risk to the Government or taxpayers.
Mr de Brenni said the State would also make cash injections and leverage under-utilised state-owned land if the deal was good as part of its previously announced $1.8 billion housing strategy.
He said the government has signed its first agreement under the new scheme with the Brisbane Housing Company to build 628 affordable homes over five years.
"The Palaszczuk Government will make a capital injection of $28 million to help BHC deliver new affordable homes for Queenslanders," said Mr de Brenni.
"This is the first five year development plan for a community housing provider which will fill the gap between social housing and home ownership for tens of thousands of Queenslanders."