Affordable Housing - Senate Economics References Committee Posted on September 11, 2014

RDA Gold Coast Executive Officer, Ian Pritchard, and Committee Member, Kerrie Young, were invited to appear as a witness at a Senate Economics References Committee inquiry into affordable housing as a result of RDAGC commissioning a project and publishing a report on housing affordability in 2014 (click here to visit our page and view report).

The report undertaken by MacroPlan Dimasi on behalf of RDA Gold Coast sought to assess the housing affordability of the Gold Coast and determine the extent of housing stress. Declining housing affordability of the Gold Coast has resulted in the residents experiencing both rental and mortgage stress in recent years.

Gold Coast City has experienced a disparity between income growth and housing costs. Between 2006 and 2011, the median household income increased by approximately 15% whereas mortgage payments increased by 40% and rental costs by 35%. This coming at a time where supply of new housing did not meet underlying demand from population growth.

Our report concluded that 35,000 households (43% of low income households) were in housing stress, according to 2011 data. The report also suggests a probable solution to alleviating housing stress is to significantly increase the supply of affordable housing in the City. Initiatives such as changes to planning regulations to encourage diversity and density on transport corridors, providing incentives to developers, not-for-profits, investors and financial institutions, and a continuation of the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS). The Parklands and Southport PDA provide opportunities for mixed tenancy housing developments for example a “Common Ground” housing project.

At the inquiry RDA Gold Coast were given the opportunity to discuss its report and were asked questions by the Committee on factors affecting housing affordability of the Gold Coast such as demographic profiles, transport, employment and availability of land and the influence of development costs on affordability.

Evidence given by RDA Gold Coast and other organisations invited to give evidence will be used to inform the Government on future Housing policy.

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