Queenslanders are being forced into homelessness and poverty by a Federal Government decision to continue a national rental scheme phase out, with Queensland hit the hardest.

QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh welcomes today’s announcement that Federal Housing Minister Julie Collins will be attending the state’s Housing Summit next week.

“We will be calling on the Housing Minister to address the devastating impact the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) withdrawal is having on Queenslanders,” McVeigh said.

“More than 7,500 vulnerable Queenslanders face either homelessness or paying up to hundreds of dollars extra in rent each week because of the continued NRAS phase out. That’s unacceptable in this current housing crisis.

“Over 10,000 Queenslanders have already lost their homes or been hit with skyrocketing rents as a result of the decision.”

The NRAS was a flagship policy of the previous Federal Labor Government and one-third of the properties were based in Queensland.

Rents are pegged to at least 20 per cent below prevailing market rates under the scheme for low and middle-income earners, who might otherwise struggle to keep a roof over their head.

“While the Albanese Government has committed to building 30,000 social and affordable homes nationwide, any homes built in Queensland under this commitment will just be undone by this NRAS phase-out,” McVeigh said.

“Ahead of the federal budget later this month, and the Housing Summit next week, Queenslanders need the Australian Labor Government to step up.

“In the federal budget, the Albanese government must increase the level of Commonwealth Rental Assistance and provide a solution to Queenslanders renting NRAS properties, so they can keep a safe roof over their head.

“Housing Minister Julie Collins needs to tell community services when houses will be built by the Federal Government. The time for talk and reaffirming election commitments is over. Queenslanders in extreme housing stress need action now.

“We need 5,000 new social homes to be built every year for the next 10 years across the state. The Queensland Government cannot do it alone.

“Next week’s summit cannot just be a talkfest. It needs to lead to binding solutions which include targets that will allow the community to hold governments to account and to understand their progress against their commitments.”

As at 30 June 2022, there were still 7,602 NRAS households in Queensland. Of those,1,655 were due to cease in the last half of this year. The NRAS is set to cease in 2026.

14 October 2022