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QLD Affordable housing complex honours the late Tom Burns

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QLD Affordable housing complex honours the late Tom Burns

October 2007

Tom Burns would be smiling down on a new affordable housing complex named in his honour, Premier Anna Bligh said.

Ms Bligh today opened Tom Burns Place, a 56-unit building in Brisbane’s Kelvin Grove Urban Village that provides inner-city accommodation for low-income earners and people with a disability in need of housing assistance.

“It’s fitting that the building we’re opening today will be known as Tom Burns Place in memory of the greatest friend the battlers of this state ever had,” Ms Bligh said.

“Tom had a great compassion for those in need. During his time as Housing Minister from 1989 to 1992 he introduced substantial reform to public housing in Queensland. In large part, it’s because of Tom’s work that we are here today.”

Ms Bligh said the Queensland Government has invested $100 million to develop the Kelvin Grove Urban Village as a combination of private and affordable residential, commercial, educational, retail and recreational developments.

“The vision was to develop an urban village that encompassed the best of ecologically sustainable development while offering a diverse range of people a sense of community,” she said.

“It is a reality today because of a partnership between the Queensland Government and the Queensland University of Technology.”

Tom Burns Place is the largest of four residential buildings constructed at Kelvin Grove Urban Village by affordable accommodation providers Brisbane Housing Company. The Brisbane Housing Company was established in 2002 using funds from the Queensland Government and the Brisbane City Council.

Ms Bligh said the company played an important role in ensuring residents who can’t pay rents at full market value in the private sector can continue to live in the inner city. Tenants pay 75 per cent of market value.

Minister for Public Works, Housing and Information and Communication Technology, Robert Schwarten said social housing tenants living at Tom Burns Place were part of the diverse mix of people that make up the Village community.

“Low-income tenants can live in comfortable, affordable surroundings and that’s important when the people of Brisbane pay more of their income towards rent than residents in any other capital city,” he said.

“The presence of affordable housing in the Village provides tenants with access to nearby high-quality educational and health facilities. Proximity to public transport also provides numerous employment and training opportunities for people without their own transport.

“Overall, the four complexes deliver affordable housing close to the city for 155 households.

“Not only was access to the city a key building design element but also access into and out of the buildings. There are 12 households with at least one member who has a physical disability.”

Brisbane Housing Company Chief Executive Officer, David Cant said Tom Burns Place was a landmark project for the company.

“Each unit has been constructed for a total cost of $194,000 which bears comparison with the most cost-effective delivery being achieved in the market,” he said.

“They all comply with designs for environmental sustainability, like other residential buildings in the Village.

“Tom Burns Place has its own rainwater tanks and cross-ventilation, which has eliminated the need for air conditioning. The building also has a four-star energy rating in its residential and commercial spaces.”

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