Council Offers Its Own Land for Social, Affordable & Crisis Housing

Published 19 July 2023


Community Housing and specialist homelessness providers will be able to lease Council owned land in Moreton Bay to build new housing developments, after a unanimous vote at today’s meeting.

Mayor Peter Flannery said he was proud to lead a Council that was willing to think outside the box and step up to address the modern social issues of our time.

“A key challenge to getting new social, affordable, and crisis housing built is the availability of land, so Moreton Bay Council today voted to help remove that hurdle by making some of our own land available under lease arrangements,” Mayor Flannery said.

“Yes, this is technically the responsibility of the State and Federal Governments, but the current housing crisis is so bad that this Council has decided to do everything we can.

“And while providing social, affordable, and crisis housing may not be within Council’s usual remit we are being left to deal with the resulting regulatory issues, public safety concerns, and in extreme cases the negative impact on public amenities.

“That’s why we’re taking timely and practical action today. Our aim is to have a couple of sites out for expressions of interest before Christmas, that’s how quickly we want to move.

“Frankly there’s been successive failures of government here over a number of decades at both the State and Federal level, and it’s our communities that are now suffering.

“There are more than 1,400 people experiencing homelessness in Moreton Bay right now.

“In the 2021/22 financial year, Council experienced a 70% increase in the number of people that Council officers engaged with in public spaces that were sleeping rough.

“In 2022/23, this increased by a further 120% so clearly something has to change, which is why Council is taking a leadership position here rather than sitting on our hands.

“Changing our Community Leasing Policy means we can let council-owned land that is not needed right now for the purpose of housing development that will put a roof over the head of Moreton Bay locals doing it tough.

“Today’s unanimous vote will see Moreton Bay create a new lease type specifically for social, affordable and crisis housing land partnerships.

“We’re already waiving 100% of all development fees and infrastructure charges in fifteen suburbs, in a radical attempt to incentivise private sector construction of affordable social housing.

“Because we want community housing providers and developers to know that Moreton Bay has a swag of incentives for them and we want them to know that we are ready to do business.

“For example, we waived $220,000 in infrastructure charges and development application fees for Bric Housing, enabling them to build a new 18-dwelling accommodation block in Redcliffe for people experiencing homelessness.

“We also contributed $50,000 to get a ‘sleep bus’ built which will provide an emergency accommodation service for people sleeping rough, to be operated in Redcliffe by The Breakfast Club.

“We’re also all-in on the Homelessness Hub in Redcliffe, with Council quadrupling its initial investment in this project to a whopping $3.75 million to ensure it gets off the ground.

“Statistically speaking Moreton Bay faces an unprecedented acceleration in homelessness compared to our neighbours.

“Between the 2011 and 2016 census homelessness increased 57% here.

“That’s faster than Brisbane on 39%, much faster than the Sunshine Coast on 6% and far too high above the Queensland average of 9%.

“Council only has a certain number of levers to pull to help turn this situation around, so Moreton Bay is pulling all of those levers.”