First home buyer

Rates relief on offer for first home buyers under Team Eden

First home buyers who take the plunge into home ownership in the Cairns region will have their first year’s rates subsidised by $1000 under a Team Eden-led Cairns Regional Council.

“The first year is the hardest for new homeowners,” Mayoral Candidate Amy Eden said. “This initiative will give first homeowners a real leg up and provide incentive for young people to stay in Cairns to build their futures and raise their families.”

“The subsidy will be capped at 300 properties a year and will be funded by scrapping some of Unity’s extravagant and unnecessary expenses.”

Team Eden recognises more residential housing is needed to meet growing demand across the Cairns region and enable more first home buyers to enter the market.

“Prices in Cairns have soared as availability dwindles, making it harder for young people to get into their own homes,” she said. “This, combined with low rental vacancy, is driving young people away from our city to find affordable housing elsewhere.

On top of that some of our residents have been impacted by the recent natural disasters. Recovering and rebuilding is a stressful and costly time for people and, under an Eden-led Council we will waive all Council fees relating to rebuilding people’s homes.

“The most effective thing a council can do to combat a housing shortage and disaster recovery is to make it easier to build more houses,” she said. “One of Team Eden’s first actions will be to launch an external review of Council’s planning approval processes, so we can see where we can make improvements that will support quality development.

“We’ll look for every opportunity to cut red tape and make the process smoother for appropriate housing development to get speedy Council approval.”

To support these actions, Team Eden has committed to initiating a Development Assessment Customer Journey project through the Queensland Small Business Commissioner to improve the customer experience for those dealing with Council’s planning department.

In addition, a Team Eden-led Council will address a lack of Council infrastructure in identified growth areas and release suitable Council-owned land in Edmonton and Babinda for residential development with provisions for affordable and social housing.

The need for higher density development in the CBD and key growth areas in Smithfield and Edmonton – as recognised by Advance Cairns Chair Nick Trompf in recent statements – will be resolved through an updated planning scheme.

“More housing brings more opportunities for our community to thrive and offers our young people the chance to be the future of our great city,” Ms Eden said.

Amy Eden, Team Eden Mayoral Candidate, Cairns Regional Council

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