Ian Ugarte rejected the idea that the state government should take on the huge debt required to build “hundreds of soulless apartment towers”. Instead, the private sector could provide most of the affordable housing needed in the state, he claimed, without any need for government funds.

“Property developers want to build affordable housing and property investors want to invest in it”, he insisted. “They can see the demand for it just as well as anyone can. The huge demand and undersupply of properties presents a fantastic opportunity to them”.

Ian Ugarte is a full-time property investor, a strong advocate for affordable housing and Australia’s leading micro apartment and rooming house specialist. He sits on the Board of the Future Housing Taskforce and holds 7 worldwide patents on sustainability and wastewater treatment.

Mr Ugarte explained that all the state government needed to do, along with local councils, was to “do their job of creating policy and get out of the way” and let the private sector get on with building the required housing.

“All we need are some tweaks to planning laws to let developers actually build the correct type of housing and they’ll step up to meet the demand. Regulations and red tape are the only things stopping them right now”, he said.

“It’s irresponsible of the Queensland Greens to propose to waste $60 billion of taxpayer’s money building a forest of awful high-rise towers. That would be a massive waste of money building towers that will be nothing but unpleasant eyesores. Meanwhile, the private sector is waiting on the sidelines for the go-ahead to build beautiful, affordable housing that people actually want to live in”.

A self-described “social capitalist”, Mr Ugarte is adamant that he will only invest in property developments that provide a benefit to the community in addition to making money. “It needs to make sense before it makes dollars” is his catch phrase. He sees his mission as making affordable housing available to all Australians and helping to end the current epidemic of housing stress.

Ian has advised several state governments and councils on changing their planning regulations to allow investors to provide more affordable housing. He also teaches investors and developers how to build affordable housing that’s fully compliant with the often-complex regulations, while still providing an attractive return on investment.