Caboolture residents desperate for housing as crisis hits community
The ongoing housing crisis is reaching breaking point in Caboolture, with the local Vinnies team receiving multiple requests a week from people desperate to find a home.
Discussing the local situation for National Homelessness Week (1 – 7 August), Vinnies Caboolture conference Vice-President Cheryl Vlieg said there has been a desperate need for increased social and affordable housing in the region.
“Every other day we’re getting people telling us they’re sleeping in their car or a tent and are desperate for somewhere to stay,” she said.
“In June alone, we had 13 people experiencing homelessness coming to us for help.
“While we try our best to provide food and guidance, the truth is there is just no affordable housing left in Caboolture for them to go.
“Many have already been waiting for months, if not years, on the social housing waiting list — it’s heartbreaking.”
Ms Vlieg said homelessness and housing instability had always been an issue since she started working with St Vincent de Paul Society in Caboolture five years ago, but the state housing shortage has made the problem worse.
“With JobSeeker payments reduced earlier this year, people moving up to Queensland from southern states are driving competition up and it seems like the problem has only been getting worse,” she said
“People are outbidding each other for rentals or offering 6-12 months’ rent in advance; if you’re on a low income, it’s extremely hard to keep up.
“Just the other week I had a lady say her rent had gone up $50 a week and she didn’t know how she would afford it.”
With the theme of National Homelessness Week 2021 being ‘everybody needs a home’, Vinnies Queensland CEO Kevin Mercer said there was still a long way to go to help end the cycle of homelessness in the community through the development of more social housing to cater to demand.
“With 80 per cent of Queensland experiencing extremely low rental vacancy rates, the State Government’s current investment into social housing is a positive step in the right direction, but will not be enough to solve the issue,” Mr Mercer said.
“More than 33,300 social housing properties are needed in regional areas across Queensland to meet the needs of our most vulnerable community members, including those in Caboolture, who simply cannot afford to put a roof over their head.”
Queensland has an estimated 21,000+ people experiencing homelessness on any given night, with more than 1,100 of these people currently living in the Moreton Bay region according to Regional Council statistics.
For more information or to make a donation to Vinnies Queensland, visit: https://qld.vinnies.org.au/