The Queensland State Government in 2013 outlined a vision for 90% of state-owned public housing in Queensland to be managed by the community housing sector by 2020. The Government signed a major contract with a community housing provider in 2014, known as the Logan Renewal Initiative, to manage and redevelop 4,653 public housing dwellings in the Logan City Council with the dual objectives to reduce the Government’s ongoing financial burden and to tackle high levels of social-residualisation in several Logan suburbs.
The Logan Renewal Initiative at the time was the largest transfer of public housing in Australia to an emerging community sector housing market. It was envisaged that the Commonwealth Government would play a bigger funding role through avenues such as Commonwealth Rent Assistance. The Government terminated the contract in 2016 with little explanation why. This paper outlines the history of the Logan Renewal Initiative and draws learnings from the reversal of this major policy initiative.
A case study approach is applied drawing on peer reviewed articles, conference papers, government reports and media releases, and analyses available housing data to draw conclusions. The paper concludes that the transfer of significant public housing assets in locations with low housing prices is a big financial risk for the state government and community housing sector without ongoing funding support by the government, and the intended solving of social- residualisation issues through urban renewal was overstated. The paper concludes with suggested policy work on housing social infrastructure using whole of government cost benefit analysis and a rethink of current Commonwealth housing policy of funding solely through the community and private housing sectors.