13 September 2023

Hon. MAJ SCANLON (Gaven—ALP) (Minister for Housing) (9.51 am): ‘Plans lodged for social housing project: biggest in state’. That is the front page of the Cairns Post today. I table it for the benefit of the House.

As the Premier just outlined, today we are pleased to announce that we are well advanced in assessing an application for funding under the Housing Investment Fund—a fund that our government is very proud to deliver, in contrast to the position of those opposite, who are opposing a very similar fund at the federal level at the moment. This particular application could see 490 new social and affordable homes for Woree, between the Cairns southern corridor and inner-city suburbs—in the electorate of the Speaker and right next to the electorate of Cairns. The architecturally designed campus is being progressed with a planning application lodged today. If approved, this project will deliver social, affordable and specialist disability homes that are modern, low maintenance and energy efficient, amongst landscaped gardens. Subject to approvals, the campus will enable seniors seeking to downsize to enjoy supported community living and free up underoccupied social homes in Cairns for larger households and families.

The proposals by Community Housing Ltd and Tetris Capital have been brought to the Queensland government under the first round of our signature $2 billion Housing Investment Fund. This proposed development has the potential to provide homes for hundreds of seniors in Cairns and will include a mix of one- and two-bedroom units located close to medical facilities, community services and shopping centres. This project is in addition to the recently progressed 71 proposals that have been shortlisted and progressed to the next stage for detailed design. Importantly, 60 per cent of these are outside of the Brisbane region.

Our Housing Investment Fund is working with community housing providers and institutional investors, like superannuation companies, to build more homes as well as purchase existing homes. That includes supporting two community housing providers to purchase up to 456 properties, most of which are homes exiting the soon-to-be-closed National Rental Affordability Scheme. As the Premier just outlined, we already have tenants in those homes. Homes secured to date are located across South-East Queensland, Gympie and Townsville, with many more on the way. I look forward to continuing to update the House on the progress of these projects supported under our Housing Investment Fund as we deliver our Big Build.