Survey highlights need for more affordable living options
  • Friday 29 January 2010

The Sunshine Coast has recently been named as the third most unaffordable place to live amongst 272 markets in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and America by the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, giving further evidence that housing affordability is a significant issue on the Coast.

Cr Anna Grosskreutz, Portfolio Chair for Social Policy and Chairperson of the Housing Affordability Taskforce said she knows all too well the challenge of housing affordability on the Sunshine Coast.

“While the study method is very simplistic it recognises that housing affordability is a significant issue,” Cr Grosskreutz said.

“The fact is a lot of people are doing it tough—single people, retirees, empty nesters, single parents and young people entering the work force are struggling to find smaller, more affordable places to live that meet their needs.

“We need to cater for all our community by encouraging appropriate housing options.

“Council has been working tirelessly to address affordability here on the Coast and has taken a number of proactive steps with the Affordable Living Discussion Paper and the Housing Affordability Taskforce.

“Last year council released the Affordable Living Discussion Paper for public comment and received over 3000 submissions—the majority of which supported the Affordable Living Concept.

“This feedback is being used to prepare an Affordable Living Strategy that will help to improve affordability for all residents on the Coast.

“Council has also pushed hard to include a percentage of affordable housing in the bring forward areas of Palmview, Caloundra South and Maroochydore and is working with the Queensland Government to ensure that these housing affordability targets are supported.”

Cr Grosskreutz said that while it’s acknowledged that the Sunshine Coast has a housing affordability issue, it’s important to highlight that the Demographia report uses a very simplistic method to assess affordability.

“To assess affordability, the report divides the median house price by median household income,” Cr Grosskreutz said.

“However, housing affordability is a complex problem and using such a simplistic methodology does not give a complete picture of the situation.

“Through the Affordable Living Strategy, council is proposing greater housing choice with varied housing sizes, types and tenures to better meet community needs.”

The Affordable Living Strategy also seeks improved transportation options and self contained neighbourhoods to address affordability.