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August 14th 2008
Housing Affordability Summit to identify future strategies

Housing affordability in North Queensland will come under the spotlight tomorrow (Friday August 15) as representatives from advocacy groups, businesses and developers meet at a summit hosted by Townsville City Council.

The NQ Housing Affordability Summit will offer a platform for all sectors of the community to share their perspectives on the nature of the problem and to work collaboratively to devise appropriate solutions.

The summit has secured high calibre keynote speakers who are well regarded in their respective fields, including:

Professor Andrew Beer from Flinders University, South Australia, who will discuss ways to develop an affordable housing strategy in the North Queensland region,
Jason Cubit, CEO Gold Coast Housing Company, who will discuss the formation of a local housing company, and Professor Julian Disney, Chair of the National Summit on Affordable Housing, who will identify the critical issues for the development of a regional affordable housing strategy.

The summit will also provide opportunities for participants to raise ideas, with panel discussions and workshops aimed at identifying the most important local housing issues and key strategies to tackle them.

Townsville Mayor Les Tyrell said the Council recognised housing affordability as a major issue for North Queensland, and was committed to finding long term, comprehensive and workable solutions by partnering with all sectors of the community.

"There are a whole range of factors that affect housing affordability, and a large number of players, which means there will be no single magic solution," Cr Tyrell said.

"In Townsville, we're acutely affected by housing challenges with a shortage of housing in general, issues relating to planning, management of public housing, and a lack of skilled professionals to build more homes.

"Our impressive population growth is also a double edged sword, adding pressure to an already tight situation, and even people on professional wages are finding themselves priced out of the market.

"We must consider all sides of the problem, including factors that impact on supply and demand, as well as issues relating to long term planning and regulatory frameworks.

"While there has been some level of collaboration between a number of sectors in the past, this summit will bring all those involved in the housing issue together for the first time."

The summit will be held at the Riverway Arts Centre and is the first of its kind in North Queensland.

Around 150 registrations have been received from Townsville, Charters Towers, Cairns, Mackay and Robina.

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

Housing Affordability Summit to identify future strategies
Jenny Stirling
August 15th 2008
Great to hear and I hope human service organisations from across the board were included because their clients are the most vulnerable to this issue.

What do you think? Send us your comments.

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