MBRC Waives Fees to Support Social Housing Development on Portwood Street

Did you know? Moreton Bay Regional Council recently announced that it waived fees to support social housing development in Redcliffe.

MBRC announced last 14 December 2022 that it has waived $220,000 in infrastructure charges and development application fees for Bric Housing. The initiative is aimed at helping the organisation with their plans to build a new 18-dwelling social housing block on Portwood Street, Redcliffe for people experiencing homelessness.

Once completed in 2023, the complex will also feature a rooftop solar system with state-of-the-art technology that will enable it to distribute the solar energy between the units. There will also be amenities to support tenants to age in place including secure lobby and lift access, private balconies and car parking for each dwelling.

It follows Mayor Peter Flannery’s announcement last August 2022, stating that Community Housing Providers who build social or affordable housing in Moreton Bay will not be required to pay any development fees or charges.

“To say I’m thrilled is an understatement – I honestly can’t believe this initiative has been so successful so quickly, and I’m so excited that Bric Housing already has ground works underway on Portwood Street in Redcliffe,” he said.

“When I wrote to Community Housing Providers outlining the incentives available and offering to work with them, we were overwhelmed by their enthusiasm.

“This project is a great start, and I hope it will lead to many more.

Between the 2011 and 2016 census, Moreton Bay saw an increase homelessness by 57 per cent. That rate is faster than Brisbane’s 39 per cent, Sunshine Coast’s six per cent, and “far too high” above the state average of nine per cent.

Mayor Flannery said that “statistically speaking Moreton Bay faces an unprecedented acceleration in homelessness” compared to its neighbours.

MBRC Waives Fees to Support Social Housing in Redcliffe
“Housing affordability could be the greatest challenge of our time… and it’s not just a Moreton Bay or a Queensland issue, this is a national crisis.” – Mayor Flannery | Photo credit: Moreton Bay Regional Council / moretonbay.qld.gov.au

“The lack of social and affordable housing in our region is putting more and more people at risk of homelessness, already more than 1200 locals are already considered homeless.”

Mayor Flannery added that about 25 years ago, there used to be a nation-wide routine annual public housing construction program. But Australia’s population has increased 40 per cent whilst the social housing sector failed to match that rate, with stock increasing only by four per cent.

“Our system has not kept pace with the pressure that’s being put on it, and that pressure’s increasing.

“That’s why in this year’s budget Council committed $1.5 million to building a homelessness support hub in Redcliffe with funding from the State Government.

“I was also very pleased to see that Brisbane Housing Company, with the State Government’s Housing Investment Fund’s support, is investing in social and affordable housing in Redcliffe.

Bric Housing is a recognised leader in the community housing sector for the past decade in South East Queensland. 

“This new accommodation in Redcliffe will be designed to provide good quality accommodation, and tenancy sustainment support, for 18 single people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with the support of State Government funding,” CEO Jane West said.

“It’s unusual and incredibly welcome for a Council to be so active in this space, given homelessness and housing are portfolios of the State and Federal Governments. It really is a pleasure to be working with a Council that’s been so proactive about doing what they can within their powers to respond to this very urgent need.

“I’d definitely encourage other Community Housing Providers to take up this opportunity with Moreton Bay Council, because we know areas like Redcliffe and Caboolture have had above-average rates of homelessness and this has significantly increased in recent years.”