Queensland home owners who have granny flats will be allowed to rent them out over the next three years under emergency planning changes designed to alleviate the state’s housing crisis.
The move will enable secondary dwellings to be made available to people other than immediate family members and expand accommodation options for smaller households, such as students, single persons, older people and couples.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the change would mean “cheaper properties will enter the rental market, helping thousands of people”.
Currently, secondary dwellings are only able to be used by family, Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.
“At the same time some Queenslanders are sleeping in their cars or in tents,” he said.
Mr Miles said using under-utilised granny flats was quicker than building new accommodation.
“It also allows home owners to earn rent, helping them meet the increased cost of living,” he said.
“They’ll still need to comply with all council regulations, building codes, as well as fire safety regulations, so they may need to get them safety inspected.”
Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) president Shannon Batch said the changes could meet some of Queensland’s diverse housing needs.
“This change highlights how good planning can help address our housing challenge and reduce the barriers to more diverse housing forms,” she said.
Mr Miles said the changes would be reviewed after three years to ensure there were no unintended consequences and consider future housing supply.
Deputy opposition leader Jarrod Bleijie said he supported the granny flat changes.
“We support anything that gets a roof over a Queenslander’s head,” he said.
Housing Minister Leeanne Enoch said the latest data for the social housing register would be released later today and show “some stabilisations”.
“It also indicates single people, including over the age of 55, now make up the majority of those on the social housing register,” she said.