The affordable housing crisis is costing Queensland business billions, so what can we do?


Find out from with Dr Greg Usher from Housing All Australians, what the social and economic costs are when there’s a lack of affordable housing.

Lack of affordable housing will cost Queensland businesses billions of dollars in lost productivity this year, and failure to act will only see that figure increase annually.

A new economic study, Give Me Shelter, commissioned by the business-led, not-for-profit, Housing All Australians (HAA), shows that decades of under-investment by successive state and federal governments has seen social and affordable housing stock plummet. This means there simply isn’t enough housing for key workers, let alone the vulnerable in our society. Give Me Shelter quantifies the long-term financial impact of continuing to ignore this issue at $25 billion per annum by the year 2051. That’s a figure we, as a society, simply can’t afford to ignore.

Recently, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Queensland’s Sunshine Coast region alone, was losing $786 million per year in economic output as a direct result of the lack of affordable housing in the area. That’s a lot of money that could have been spent on hospitals, roads, schools, parks, and our communities.

The research cited in the Sydney Morning Herald was compiled for the “Everybody’s Home” affordable housing campaign by Impact Economics and Policy and shows the surge in prices and rents is making it increasingly difficult for regional areas to attract workers. House values along the Sunshine Coast hit an annual growth rate of almost 36 percent, with the median value at $1.1 million. Most Australians simply can’t afford houses that cost this much, let alone rent them. This current trajectory is simply not sustainable.

So, what does this all mean? It means that this lack of housing isn’t a problem that is off in the distance: it’s here, now, and it’s having a direct economic impact on business in Queensland. The lack of affordable housing in Queensland is no longer just a ‘social’ issue – it’s an ‘economic’ issue, it’s a ‘business’ issue and that makes it everyone’s issue. Businesses are closing their doors because they can’t find workers, and they can’t find workers because workers can’t find housing.

There are solutions.

Of course, we can all agree that Government needs to spend more on housing, but there’s also a role for business in the solution, and that’s where Housing All Australians comes in. As a national not-for-profit, HAA support businesses to be part of the solution. HAA work with businesses to reimagine idle property for temporary shelter or renovate properties for longer term accommodation. Properties like Wynn Carr Women’s Shelter in Fremantle, this facility is the culmination of work from a group of dedicated West Australian businesses who rolled up their sleeves and donated over $1 million of products and services to make the renovation happen.

In other states, such as Victoria, HAA are working with businesses to invest in affordable housing to provide accommodation for their staff, particularly in regional and coastal areas that have experienced significant population shifts.

These are just some of the ways businesses can and want to be involved.

A problem worth solving.

Is the challenge a large one? Yes, but it’s also one that is worth solving.

If you would like to know more about how your business can help, please contact Dr Greg Usher, Non-Executive Director and Chair of Housing All Australians’ Queensland Management Committee at

Ausbuild is embracing community engagement and nurturing the development industry’s next generation.


Queensland’s largest privately owned residential developer has initiated a new partnership with Bray Park State High School that will provide real-world learning opportunities for senior students in the Moreton Bay Region.

The collaborative partnership was initiated late last year when Ausbuild’s Senior Development Manager Keith Cairns met Principal Peter Turner at a Community Reference Group meeting.

The idea quickly became a reality, launching earlier this year with an offering of 20 work experience placements at Ausbuild’s master planned community in Warner, The Sanctuary, and the goal to promote eligible students into apprenticeships or employment.

Mr Cairns said the partnership not only aims to nurture the next generation of property professionals, it’s also an opportunity for Ausbuild to strengthen its role in the communities it is a part of.

Ausbuild is embracing community engagement and nurturing the development industry’s next generation.


“When a young person can see the opportunities unfolding ahead of them, a spark is lit, and it’s incredibly rewarding to be part of their early journey,” said Mr Cairns.

“This partnership will provide meaningful opportunities for students to learn about construction and development and to explore the myriad career pathways within the property industry.”

Bray Park State High School’s Industry and Vocational Training Officer Nicole Tinney said the last few years have been particularly challenging for students in years 10 to 12, who have spent much of their senior schooling participating in ‘at home’ learning.

“The partnership with Ausbuild allows students to participate in hands-on learning, which is vital as they prepare to exit school and enter tertiary learning or the workforce,” said Ms Tinney.

Site visits involving construction, geography, and science students kick off in August and will enable the students to gain a deeper understanding of how communities are brought to life.

Ausbuild Joint Managing Director, Michael Loney, said the company is immensely proud to be enhancing growth opportunities for young people in the region.

“Engaging with the next generation is an incredibly rewarding experience for our team and the consultants and contractors who are on this journey with us,” Mr Loney said.

“Together, we have the opportunity to help students realise the depths of their potential and connect over a shared love of construction, engineering, urban planning, and community development.”

The resounding success of Ausbuild’s collaboration with Bray Park State High School has laid the foundation for a new community partnership with Morayfield State High School, located only a short drive from Ausbuild’s master planned community Montrose.

To celebrate the school partnerships, Ausbuild gifted 200 rugby league tickets to both Bray Park and Morayfield State High School students and their families, through the company’s sponsorship of the New Zealand Warriors.

Students formed the Guard of Honour to welcome the players on the field and participated in the half-time entertainment activities, all held at Moreton Daily Stadium in Redcliffe: the ‘home away from home’ for the NZ Warriors in 2022.

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The Orchard, Arana Hills has been granted EnviroDevelopment certification


Located in Brisbane’s inner-north, The Orchard at Arana Hills delivers 77 townhomes designed for homeowners, with sustainability in mind. The use of eco-conscious technologies, coupled with landscaping and architectural design, results in a project well-equipped for the future.

Fruit trees, EV charging, solar systems, and native bee hives are some of the features from The Orchard.

Set in the suburb of Arana Hills, Brisbane, The Orchard places sustainable design within generously native landscaped surrounds.

Canopy cover and landscaped shared spaces create a place for community and active living, with edible gardens making seasonal herbs and fruit freely available for residents.

Through The Orchard, Tessa Developments and Ellivo Architects are providing the platform for national companies to showcase their sustainable initiatives.

In order to ensure that they cover five critical pillars of eco-delivery, which are water efficiency, energy efficiency, building materials, sustainability and air quality, Tessa Developments have formulated their own rating system, WEBSA. The Orchard is Tessa’s first project applying this system. Given that the project is named for its grand entryway and orchard landscaping, it was only fitting that a commitment to sustainability became a driving force for this project.

With a heavy investment in solar power, EV charging points in all townhouses, 60% of the site being open space, a live sustainable orchard with over 10 fruit tree varieties, and beehives for honey and increased pollination, The Orchard is leading the way in Australian residential property development.

The National EnviroDevelopment Board granted The Orchard in all six elements – ecosystems, waste, energy, materials, water, and community.

This achievement cements the environmental credentials of this project and highlights Tessa’s commitment to delivering a new standard in sustainability and livability.