Council releases plan to tackle affordable housing problem in Townsville

Date published: 11 October 2022

A plan to support affordable housing availability in Townsville has been endorsed at September’s Ordinary Meeting of Council.

Council voted to adopt Townsville City Council’s Affordable Housing Action Plan 2022-2023.

The plan outlines four key action areas where council can advance opportunities for more housing developments for people with low to middle incomes.

Mayor Jenny Hill said Townsville’s vacancy rate was at record lows, and a collaborative action plan to work with developers and the state government was a good first step.

“The city’s rental vacancy rate is at 0.5 per cent, which is the lowest vacancy rate experienced in the last decade,” Cr Hill said.

“More than 7000 Townsville households, or 10 per cent of the housing market, are experiencing housing stress.

“Our region is experiencing economic growth, but without appropriate housing levels, it may deter further investment here. Rapid solutions for housing to support the growth and retention of jobs in Townsville is vital.”

The plan focuses on four key areas, which include the provision of Council-owned land to facilitate the development of affordable housing, partnership with government and private industry to deliver affordable housing, looking at converting vacant office buildings into residential dwellings and facilitating further development.

Planning and Development Committee chairperson Mark Molachino said more affordable housing is needed in Townsville to help attract and retain essential workers.

“Affordable housing is open to a broader range of household incomes than social housing. This is about helping to attract and retain critical workers like police officers, nurses and childcare workers to our city,” Cr Molachino said.

“We would look at areas like North Rail Yards as a prime location for an affordable housing development. We will also work with the community to help identify other growth areas across the city to support further affordable housing developments.

“Affordable housing development projects have proved successful in several key employment and service centres including Redcliffe, City of Sydney, City of Melbourne and North Melbourne.”

For more information on the Affordable Housing Action Plan 2022-2023, visit our Corporate Information page.