Council prepare for housing crisis
Thursday 01 December 2016
The Central Highlands and Isaac Regional Councils have formed a group to head off the return of high house prices in places like Blackwater and Moranbah.
Rising house prices might seem like a fantasy for many in the region at the moment, given hundreds of homes are vacant, rent levels are at historic lows, and sale prices are down by as much as eighty percent of where they were at the height of the boom.
However, it was only four years ago when house prices were so out of control in Moranbah that a subsidised “affordable” 1-bed, 1-bath, 1-car townhouse in Moranbah cost $295,000, and a 2-bed, 2-bath, 1-car townhouse cost $399,000. The going rent for a modest three bedroom house on the open market was $2000/week.
Right now in Moranbah, you can get a near new three bedroom, two bathroom, free-standing home with a yard for a bit over $200,000.
Isaac Regional Mayor Anne Baker says the venture is about prevention, more than a cure.
“Currently there is no affordability crisis,” she told the Blackwater Review.
“However the Isaac Affordable Housing Trust (IAHT) and the Central Highlands (QLD) Housing Company Limited (CHQHC) are planning for the future.
“We are working together to ensure affordable housing is always available to essential services personnel, and this long-term strategy will benefit our communities should rental prices rise due to a moving economy.”
Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Kerry Hayes said the first task for the group would be the development of a dual position paper to outline the challenges in the market.
“The paper will propose the way forward for affordable housing in both regions,” Mayor Hayes said.
“We will present the paper to the State Government in the new year, and I look forward to working closely with Isaac for the best outcome for our communities.”
BMA and Rio Tinto both contribute funding to the cost of running the IAHT and CHQHC, and their new joint lobby group.
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