December 16, 2021
South Burnett Regional Council will donate four blocks of land in Kingaroy to Regional Housing Limited (RHL) for social housing.
At its December General Meeting on Wednesday, Councillors considered gifting the blocks to RHL so the company can to submit an application to the Queensland Housing Investment Growth Initiative to secure construction funding.
Regional Housing Limited is a not-for-profit company that manages emergency, transitional, and long-term social housing throughout Central Queensland.
The Queensland Housing Investment Growth Initiative is a four-year, $1.8 billion State Government scheme that aims to create 6365 new social homes across the State.
The four Council-owned blocks are located at 27B Kingaroy Street, 1 Kelvyn Street, 10 Agnes Street and 38-40 Banksia Way.
The motion to gift the blocks to RHL was moved by Cr Kirstie Schumacher and seconded by Cr Kathy Duff.
Cr Schumacher said there were only a small number of social housing units in the South Burnett, and the lack of affordable housing options was imposing a great strain on the community.
“We all know that our vacancy rate is under 1 per cent, which is extraordinary, and my heart really does go out to property managers at the moment,” she said.
“The housing crisis we’re seeing across Queensland is only going to get worse.
“This is an opportunity to really investigate these lots of land that currently aren’t offering any value to our community and consider putting bricks and mortar on them.”
Cr Schumacher said that RHL was a Tier 1 housing agency that worked closely with tenants to ensure they maintained their tenancy, and noted that the social housing market had undergone major changes in the past few decades.
“Our goal here is to achieve sustainable housing outcomes in the region,” Cr Schumacher said.
“What I hope this can also do is free up some rental stock in the area.”
Cr Schumacher paid tribute to fellow Cr Danita Potter, Mayor Brett Otto, Communities General Manager Peter O’May and CEO Mark Pitt for their input into the project, and commended it to the meeting.
Councillors agreed to the proposal unanimously.