Queensland to allow granny flats to be rented as urgent fix for housing crisis

1 week ago

A change to planning rules to allow Queenslanders to rent out their granny flats will increase affordable housing stocks, the state government says.

Restrictions on who can live in granny flats will be removed so secondary dwellings can be rented on the open market, the premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, announced on Friday.

“I know the rental market is tough and, right now, homeowners can’t rent secondary dwellings to anyone other than immediate family,” Palaszczuk said in a Facebook post.

“Changing this will mean many cheaper properties will enter the rental market, helping thousands of people across our state.”

As it stands, in most local government areas only relatives can live in granny flats, the planning minister, Steven Miles, said.

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“Increasing housing diversity means more affordable housing options throughout the state,” he said.

“That’s why we’re allowing homeowners to rent spare rooms and granny flats.”

The change was a suggestion out of the housing round table hosted by the government last week ahead of a summit on 20 October.

Q Shelter’s executive director, Fiona Caniglia, welcomed the reform, calling it “an immediate idea that will create some housing options”.

“This approach will also provide a greater focus for many enterprises working on modular, small dwellings which are quick to build and which can be sited within existing properties,” she said.

“It will be important to ensure standards for these dwellings so that people are safe. There will be some things to work through but Q Shelter is confident that this measure will help housing supply.”

Other changes up for discussion at the housing summit include minimum requirements for affordable housing in new developments, while stakeholders say there needs to be significant increases in social housing levels.

At least 5,000 new social housing dwellings need to be built every year for the next decade to solve the crisis, the Queensland Council of Social Service has said.

“Right now, we have about 50,000 people waiting on the social housing register and a growing number of Queenslanders presenting to community services desperately needing help with housing,” the council’s chief executive, Aimee McVeigh, said last week.

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