Billboards have gone live with QCOSS’ Town of Nowhere campaign in the regional centres of Townsville, Rockhampton, Cairns, and Gladstone, and in the Brisbane suburbs of Mt Gravatt and Moorooka. Advertising has also gone live in 18 Greater Brisbane shopping centres.
The Town of Nowhere campaign is calling on both the Commonwealth and Queensland governments to make landmark investments into social housing to deal with Queensland’s housing crisis. There are 47,036 people on the state’s social housing register – a population greater than that of Gladstone, Maryborough, or Gympie’s.
QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh said all levels of government must act on the housing crisis.
“Both the Commonwealth Government and the Queensland Government have a responsibility to do something urgently about the housing crisis. Supply is simply not keeping up with demand.”
“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to use debt for good and create a lasting legacy. We saw similar levels of investment after World War Two and after the GFC,” McVeigh said.
Following the end of World War Two, there were approximately 1,500 social homes built in Queensland each year to keep up with demand. If a similar per capita investment were made today, we’d be building 5,400 homes each year. Just 500 social homes are built each year.
“People are struggling to keep a roof over their heads. The COVID crisis has shown us how important housing is for people’s health and for the health of all Queenslanders, but the pandemic has worsened the housing crisis,” said Ms McVeigh.
“80 per cent of Queensland is experiencing extremely low vacancy rates – in some regions like Central Queensland, it is 0.2 per cent. The number of people in need of housing support has also skyrocketed, with a 70 per cent increase in the number of applications on the social housing register.
“We’re asking people to head to www.townofnowhere.com to email their MP to act on the housing crisis. The time for action is now.”
Between 1945 and 1959, the Queensland Housing Commission built 23,000 social housing dwellings in response to increases in the population alongside a nation-wide shortage of both established houses and building supplies.
This equates to 1,533 homes per year. Considering Queensland’s population was 1,468,237 in 1959, this would equate to 1,044 homes per 1 million people.
Queensland’s current population is 5,226,970. If the Queensland government were to commit to building at the same pace today, it would mean there would be 5,458 social homes built per year – approximately ten times the number currently built.
‘The Town of Nowhere’ campaign is funded by QCOSS and 12 other leading community organisations from across Queensland. The campaign includes real life stories of everyday Queenslanders who are experiencing homelessness.
For more information on the campaign or to hear these stories, go to townofnowhere.com
To arrange an interview with any of the twelve organisations listed below, please contact QCOSS.
Lifeline Darling Downs and South West QLD