Hundreds of thousands of people are struggling to pay their rents and mortgages while a record 39,000 people are stuck on the social housing waiting list.Even before the COVID-19 crisis the construction industry was in decline in Queensland. Now hundreds of thousands of people in Queensland are going to lose their jobs, many of those in construction. Dwelling approvals have fallen 18% from the same time last year and in the last month alone the construction industry has lost 11,000 jobs in Queensland.
By June the Grattan Institute estimates that 3.4 million workers will have lost their job. Once the lockdown ends many businesses won’t be able to afford to restart or hire more workers. Queensland workers are already struggling with massive personal debt and housing stress. If we want a jobs first recovery then we need a massive public investment in the economy.
Labor’s plan to cut taxes for big mining corporations and freeze workers wages won’t work - all it will do is concentrate more power and wealth in the hands of big corporations.
So the Greens will create 20,000 jobs per year building 100,000 homes over the next four years, and 250,000 homes over ten years. This will end the Queensland housing crisis and revitalise the Queensland construction industry. The homes will be universally available to anyone, no matter their income or background. We will establish the Queensland Housing Trust to coordinate the massive construction effort.
Whether it is medium density apartments or free standing houses, homes will be built to the highest standards of design and sustainability. Projects will aim toward maximum 5 storeys, with integrated rooftop gardens and communal spaces, zero carbon footprints, with integrated solar and high quality building standards to keep homes cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Unlike private developers that add massive profit margins, marketing costs and other fees, the Queensland Housing Trust will be able to provide high quality apartments and houses at cost, reducing costs and allowing the Trust to cap rents at 25% of income. Following best practice from countries like Austria, the Queensland Housing Trust will work toward integrated childcare centres, workshops and community spaces, to add value to local communities.
The Greens will:
- Establish a Queensland Housing Trust that will finance the construction of 100,000 public homes over the next four years and 250,000 homes over 10 years, with a long term target of 20% of all housing stock as public housing
- Seed fund The Queensland Housing Trust with $11 billion over 10 years, raised via a levy on the big banks and higher royalties on mining corporations
- Homes would be first allocated to those currently on Queensland’s social housing waiting list, then made available to every Queenslander regardless of income
- Create 20,248 good full time jobs a year
- Rent will be set at 25% of income or market rent, whichever is lower
- Remove ongoing eligibility checks for all public housing and give tenants a lifetime right to their home once it’s allocated
- Establish tenant and community design panels that will be given binding power to direct the design and architecture of the housing developments within certain parameters, including maximum 5 storey height limits on housing developments
- Introduce democratic housing and tenancy management models based on three principles
○ Universality - it will have a mandate to provide a home to anyone that applies
○ Housing as a right - ability to pay should not be a determinant of having a home
○ Design and architecture will be state of the art and incorporate principles of livability, environmental sustainability and comfort
- Legislate to introduce inclusionary zoning in South East Queensland
○ 20% of any new multi-dwelling development to be delivered as public housing stock
○ To be phased in over 10 years, beginning at
○ 10% and increasing by 5% increments every 5 years