Today’s funding announcement for 500 extra social homes is welcome, but it is inadequate given the state’s current housing crisis, QCOSS warns.
QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh said the state budget housing announcements made so far – including $322 million to build an extra 500 social homes by 2025 – called into question the government’s commitment to putting a roof over the head of every Queenslander.
“The Palaszczuk Government has recognised that what is needed most to fix the state’s housing crisis is housing supply, but adding only 500 social homes to the Quickstarts program is nowhere near enough,” Ms McVeigh said.
“The reason so many Queenslanders are experiencing homelessness is that there aren’t enough social and affordable homes for people to live in.
“The Queensland Government has been building social and affordable housing at a glacial pace – at a much slower pace than what the private sector is delivering.
“The Palaszczuk Government says it has built on average more than 10 homes per week since it came into power – but it has been spending less than any other state per capita on social housing. It needs to build more than 50 social and affordable homes a week to keep up with demand.
“We need at least 2,700 extra social homes annually, and more than 6,000 social and affordable new homes each year across Queensland, on top of what has already been promised, not an extra 500. On top of that, we need an extra 5,000 social and affordable homes committed to by the federal government if we are to keep pace with need and demand.
“Hopefully, in tomorrow’s budget, we will see more money for Queensland’s housing crisis, because what has been announced so far is not enough. We need to see a commitment from this government to drastically escalate the construction of social and affordable homes.
“The Premier says every lever will be pulled to ensure Queenslanders have a home, and this is not enough.”
Ms McVeigh said the $64.3 million in funding to buy and lease emergency accommodation in Brisbane was also welcome, but questioned the government’s plan for the rest of Queensland.
“As Brisbane residents, we’ve all seen tents going up in parks and on riverbanks right across the city, so we know that this funding is desperately needed,” McVeigh said. “It’s important though that our politicians don’t forget that Brisbane isn’t the only area where Queenslanders are experiencing and facing homelessness. This is a crisis right across the state.
“There are families, domestic violence survivors, and elderly Queenslanders sleeping in cars, tents, and motels state-wide.
“The Palaszczuk Government must not forget about the Queenslanders who most need them right now.
“We welcome Treasurer Cameron Dick’s statement that cost of living, housing and health will be at the centre of tomorrow’s budget.
“At a time when so many Queenslanders are struggling with paying their rent, mortgages, and household bills, both short and long-term solutions are needed. We need to move away from insufficient, small-scale announcements, with a comprehensive plan to tackle the housing crisis in Queensland.”