Granny flats may hit tight rental market to help Queensland housing crisis

Queensland homeowners who own granny flats will be allowed to rent them out for the next three years under emergency planning changes designed to alleviate the state’s housing crisis.

The move makes it possible to make second homes available to people other than immediate family members and to expand housing options for smaller households, such as students, singles, the elderly and couples.

Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said the change would mean that “cheaper housing will enter the rental market and help thousands of people”.

Currently, secondary homes can only be used by family, said Deputy Prime Minister Steven Miles.

“At the same time, some Queensland residents are sleeping in their cars or in tents,” he said.

Close-up shot of Queensland Deputy Prime Minister Steven Miles speaking at a media conference in Brisbane.
Queensland Deputy Prime Minister Steven Miles made the granny flat announcement today.(ABC News: Lucas Hill)

Miles said using underutilized granny flats was faster than building new accommodation.

“It also allows homeowners to earn rent, helping them meet the higher cost of living,” he said.

“They will still have to comply with all council regulations, building codes and fire safety regulations, so they may need to have them inspected for safety.”

Shannon Batch, chair of the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA), said the changes could meet some of Queensland’s diverse housing needs.

“This change shows how good planning can help address our housing challenge and reduce barriers to more diverse forms of living,” she said.

Mr Miles said the changes would be reviewed after three years to ensure there were no unintended consequences and to consider future housing stock.

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