Queensland homeowners with large apartments will be allowed to rent out over the next three years under emergency planning changes designed to alleviate the state’s housing crisis.
The move will allow secondary housing to be made available to people other than immediate family members and expand accommodation options for smaller families, such as students, singles, seniors and spouses.
Prime Minister Anastasia Pallaschuk said the change would mean “the entry of cheaper properties into the rental market, helping thousands of people”.
Deputy Prime Minister Stephen Miles said secondary housing could only be used by the family.
“At the same time, some Queenslanders are sleeping in their cars or in tents,” he said.
Mr. Miles said it was faster to put into use the grandmother’s underutilized apartments than to build new accommodations.
“It also allows homeowners to earn rent, which helps them cover the increasing cost of living,” he said.
“They will still need to comply with all council regulations, building codes, as well as fire safety regulations, so they may need to have their safety checked.”
Shannon Patch, chair of the Australian Planning Institute (PIA), said the changes could meet some of Queensland’s diverse housing needs.
“This change highlights how good planning can help address the housing challenges we face and reduce barriers to more diverse forms of housing,” she said.
Miles said the changes will be reviewed after three years to ensure there are no unintended consequences and to consider future housing supply.
Deputy opposition leader Jarrod Bliji said he was in favor of changing the grandmother’s apartment.
“We support anything that gets a roof over the head of Queensland,” he said.
Housing Minister Lianne Enoch said the latest data for the Social Housing Register will be released later today and will show “some stability”.
“It also indicates that singles, including those over 55, now make up the majority of those registered in the Social Housing Registry,” she said.