Over the past twelve months, the cost of living in Queensland has grown higher and higher, putting incredible pressure on Queenslanders, particularly those on low incomes.
Queensland’s current housing crisis has laid bare the vulnerabilities that exist in the rental market.
The costs of delivering community services are increasing. Costs related to labour, audit, accounting and marketing have all seen significant increases. As these expenses are not discretionary, they must be met in order to continue to deliver essential frontline services to our communities.
There are around 150,000 households across Queensland with unmet housing needs. These households are either experiencing homelessness, or are low-income households in private rentals, paying more than 30 per cent of household income in rent.
In 2022, Queensland communities moved through the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, a series of devastating natural disasters throughout the state, and navigated the deepening housing and cost-of-living crises. Difficult times, however, also brought communities closer together.
Each year, QCOSS produces a Living Affordability Report to determine whether low-income households can afford a basic standard of living. The 2022 Living Affordability in Queensland report documents the impacts of high inflation, rising energy costs and low housing affordability, which are key drivers of financial hardship for Queensland households.
As a sector that delivers services to people who are often experiencing disadvantage and vulnerability, it is important for community organisations to know they are providing safe and appropriate services to individuals and to the community more broadly.
The Queensland government must invest in strategic, long-term initiatives that reduces homelessness and inequality.
Key political milestones saw 2021-22 finish strongly for QCOSS and our members, with the federal election in May 2022 and Queensland Budget in June 2022 driving extensive advocacy for more social housing investment, increases to income support payments and cost of living relief.