- Affordable Housing, Urban Governance and Special Purpose Authorities in a Fast Growing Region    click here to open paper content188 kb
by    Minnery, John | j.minnery@uq.edu.au   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
In Queensland, Australia, a special authority was created to provide affordable housing that the mainstream planning system couldn't, but its changing role under changing political circumstances provides important lessons about urban governance.
South East Queensland is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia. Its 2004 population of 2.7 million is expected reach 3.97 million by 2026. This high speed growth has led to a huge challenge in terms of the provision of affordable housing. In a market-driven economy the housing industry focuses on provision for the rich whilst low and middle income households are left behind and as housing demand escalates the imbalance between demand and supply leads to escalating housing prices.
By 2007 it was clear that the mainstream planning system in Queensland was unable to cope with these rapidly increasing housing costs. The State government created the Urban Land Development Authority (ULDA), which originally focused on the speedy conversion of surplus government-owned land for affordable housing. The ULDA stood outside the mainstream planning system. Its role has later expanded, however, to include the facilitation of development proposals on private land by major private developers. Whilst it was originally intended to work with local authorities to achieve better affordable housing outcomes its move into supporting the private sector has put it on a collision course with local authorities.
This paper explores the changing role of the ULDA since 2007 and its relationships with the mainstream planning system, affordable housing and local governments as the political climate of Queensland has changed. The ULDA’s role has strong parallels in the roles of other special-purpose authorities set up in other States of Australia (and outside Australia) to address perceived failures in the mainstream planning system. The study provides important lessons about urban governance, the relationships between local and State governments and the roles of government, civil society and the private sector in urban governance.
Housing affordability, Urban governance
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