Queenslanders need social housing to be built, not just “commenced” by the Queensland Government.
They also need a comprehensive plan for the more than 50,000 Queenslanders waiting for a home, the state’s peak social services body says.
QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh says it is excellent that the Queensland Government “commenced” 832 social housing dwellings last financial year, about 100 commencements above its target. The figures were discussed at yesterday’s Queensland Parliament Estimates Hearing.
“But what people need is houses built, not commenced,” McVeigh said.
“Recent figures show the Queensland Government built about 400 social dwellings last financial year – down from 631 built in the previous financial year.
“We are in a housing crisis, with Queenslanders sleeping in tents, cars and motels because there is nowhere to go. The reality is that we need around 5,000 social houses built per year for the next decade.”
McVeigh said a comprehensive plan must include immediate solutions, not excuses, to help Queenslanders who need a roof over their head.
“In the past, governments have been able to house people during crises, including during COVID-19 and the floods.
“The Queensland Government has said it’s open to the possibility of turning Wellcamp into crisis accommodation – but we need answers, not continuous considerations.”
The number of applications on the social housing register was also discussed at yesterday’s hearing. McVeigh welcomed the slightly lower number of applications as of 30 June this year – 27,437 – compared to 27,933, on 30 June 2021, but said it was unlikely to indicate a decrease in demand, nor the number of people who were on the register.
“The figures provided during yesterday’s hearing demonstrated there is still likely to have been a net increase in the number of people applying for social housing, given that the Department has removed 21% of applications from the register,” McVeigh said. “But we need more information to understand the full picture.”
“We need the Queensland Government to be straight with us about the social housing register. We want to hear about the people on the register, not just the number of applications.
“One application can include a mother fleeing domestic violence with four children. Of those five people, one could have a disability.
“Every person should count – not just the application.”