Social housing pressure explodes

New analysis from Queensland’s peak body for the community sector shows there are now 50,301 people on Queensland’s social housing register. Since 2017, the social housing register has increased by 78 per cent.

“50,000 people is equivalent to the population of Bundaberg. There is no question that we are in a housing crisis in Queensland,” said QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh.

“On average, Queenslanders in need of social housing are waiting in excess of 28 months.

“We have record low vacancy rates, the highest interstate migration rate in the country, and people sleeping with their children in their cars and in tents.

“We saw a significant investment from the Queensland Government of $2.9 billion in June’s budget, which will result in the commencement of 6,365 new social housing dwellings by 2024.

“This is a good first step but the magnitude of the crisis our state is in requires a marathon, which must be run together by all levels of government. The current level of investment will only address 21 per cent of the housing register and this does not account for the likelihood of continued exponential increases.

“The housing crisis is the responsibility of all levels of government – Commonwealth, State and Local. A bi-partisan committee in Federal Parliament recently acknowledged that a national strategy is required to address homelessness in Australia. Accelerated investment in social housing must be a central element of this strategy.”

There were no additional funds in the federal budget to address the housing crisis in May. In addition, the Commonwealth Government have confirmed the phasing out of the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS), which will mean up to 30,000 additional households will have nowhere to go very soon.

“We need the Commonwealth, State and Local Government to work together to solve this crisis. In addition to addressing an unacceptable social issue, investment into social housing will create thousands of jobs in construction, the public sector and the community sector,” McVeigh said.

“It will mean that women escaping domestic violence, children, single mothers, older people and people with disability will have a place to call home.

“People experiencing homelessness don’t just need spare change, they need real change now.”

View all QCOSS analysis of social housing register data, including breakdown for Brisbane, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Cairns, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast local government areas. 

 

22 September 2021