Regulation of the private rental market is urgently needed to help Queenslanders struggling with rising costs of living and rental inflation, amidst the state’s continuing housing crisis.

Today, QCOSS and Tenants Queensland are calling on the Palaszczuk Government to step into the rental market to stop exorbitant rent rises.

It comes as rent increases radically outpace inflation, with Queensland experiencing the highest rent inflation in Australia.

Tenants Queensland CEO Penny Carr said unaffordable rent increases were forcing people into homelessness.

QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh welcomed the Palaszczuk Government’s progress on its Housing Summit commitments and said the extraordinary pressure on renters meant the government needed to prioritise further action for Queenslanders renting.

“With tens of thousands of Queenslanders experiencing housing insecurity who are not eligible for social housing, we also urgently need rental reform to stop more Queenslanders being forced into homelessness,” McVeigh said.

“The housing crisis is happening amidst a broader cost-of-living crisis and the Queensland Government must intervene urgently, so that people on low incomes do not bear the brunt of inflation.

“We are calling on the Queensland Government to limit the size and number of rent increases in any single year.

“About one-third of Queenslanders rent, and rents rising exponentially as inflation pushes the cost of living up, means the basics are out of reach for many.

“Queenslanders are still living in tents, cars and motels because there is nowhere for them to go. To end the housing crisis, the Queensland government must intervene to make renting more affordable as well as increasing supply of social and affordable houses by 5,000 each year for the next decade.”

Tenants Queensland CEO Penny Carr said tenants were experiencing rent rises almost three times the rate of inflation.

“Since the start of this year, renters have contacted us with rent increases which represented, on average, a 22% increase. Some of the tenants will have already had rent increase in the last six months. These increases are unaffordable and making people homeless,” Ms Carr said.

“Unless we limit rent increases, hardworking Queensland renters will continue to be put at risk of homelessness and subjected to opportunistic rent increases in a hot market.

“Improving the experiences of renters by protecting them from unreasonable rent increases and arbitrary evictions is an important part of a healthy housing system.”

Queensland has experienced the highest rental inflation in Australia, with median rents rising by 80 per cent in Gladstone, 51 per cent in Noosa, and 33 per cent on the Gold Coast over the past five years. Brisbane house and apartment rents jumped 33 per cent and 23 per cent respectively in the 2.5 years following the outbreak of COVID-19.

10 February 2023
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