Anti-Poverty Week a time for action in lead up to Summit
With cost of living and rents continuing to skyrocket and affordable housing options virtually non-existent across Queensland, Vinnies Queensland said this year’s Anti-Poverty Week (16 – 22 October) isn’t just a time for awareness —it’s a time for action.
A staggering one-in-five children across the state grow up below the poverty line, making the critical aim in this year’s 20th anniversary of Anti-Poverty Week 2022 to halve child poverty by 2030.
Vinnies Queensland President Trish McMahon said the escalating number of children across Queensland experiencing poverty was one of many significant problems facing the state.
“Over the last year, we have seen the cost of living increase considerably, and many families have experienced additional pressures at the supermarket registers, fuel pumps, or on their utility bills.
“The grocery vouchers we provide to struggling families just don’t go as far as they used to,” Ms McMahon said.
“On top of this, the growing demand we are seeing from families across the state who are in need of housing far outweighs the supply we have — it’s heartbreaking.
“Just the other day, we received a request for help from a mother of four who needed housing.
“We see so many families with small children coming to us with nowhere to go, hoping we can fix everything, but we can’t,” she said.
“Anti-Poverty Week is a timely reminder for all Queenslanders to help support those who are struggling and reinforces the importanceof the upcoming Housing Summit.”
The State Government’s Housing Summit on Thursday 20 October will facilitate a discussion on Queensland’s escalating housing supply problem, and measures to provide immediate and long-term solutions.
Vinnies Queensland CEO Kevin Mercer said Vinnies’ participation means it will be able to continue to advocate solutions for those currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless due to cost-of-living and housing stress.
“Vinnies is looking forward to participating in the upcoming Housing Summit to address the current crisis which is affecting the whole state,” Mr Mercer said.
“In line with the recommendations suggested by Anti-Poverty Week, we support and endorse the call to increase income support payments like JobSeeker, access to affordable social housing and raising the Commonwealth Rent Assistance.
“We know the current crisis facing Queenslanders will not be fixed overnight, however the Housing Summit is a significant first step in opening the discussion, allowing key organisations to work together to find actionable solutions.”