Half of Queensland’s households waiting for social housing have been flagged as either experiencing homelessness, or are at risk of it, new data shows.

The latest annual release of social housing data from the Queensland Government shows that of the 25,364 applications waiting for social housing this year, 12,765 included people who were either experiencing homelessness, or facing it.

The data also shows 99.4 per cent of Queensland’s social housing applicants are experiencing high or very high need.

The figures highlight the desperate plight of the 41,484 Queenslanders waiting, on average, more than two years for a home on the social housing register.

QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh said the latest figures were a massive concern for the 25,000 Queensland households which were in very precarious positions.

“As a state, we should be incredibly concerned that more than 25,000 households remain in high or very high need of social housing, and that they will have to wait, on average, more than two years to get a safe roof over their head,” McVeigh said.

“These households include households with large families, people with a disability, and women and children desperately trying to flee domestic violence.

“Also of concern is the rate at which the Queensland Government is helping people into housing and building homes.

“While the government assisted 5,000 applicants into social housing over the last financial year, another around 6,600 applications were added to the register.

“Meanwhile, more than 7,000 households were removed from the register over the same year – about half because they couldn’t be contacted, which could be because they were experiencing homelessness.

“Over the past decade we know that only about 500 social homes have been built per year – barely enough to keep up with demolition or sales.

“We also know that the social housing register does not accurately estimate how many Queenslanders need social housing, due to how tough it is to get on it.

“A QCOSS-commissioned report earlier this year established that about 100,000 low-income households in Queensland had unmet need for social housing – dwarfing the number of households officially recognised on the register.

“This is a social housing register that is going nowhere, creating a Town of Nowhere, with more than 40,000 Queenslanders still waiting for a safe and secure roof over their heads.”

21 August 2023