Housing boom creates growing concern of homelessness for vulnerable Queenslanders
As Australia reaches its worst ever period of housing affordability*, the threat of homelessness is looming for countless Queensland families on low or even middle incomes, according to Vinnies Queensland.
With rental vacancy rates under one per cent across most of the state, and social, crisis and even hostel accommodation full across the board, Vinnies Queensland CEO Kevin Mercer said many Queenslanders were running out of options.
“When you are facing rising rent costs you can barely afford, there are no affordable options left in your town, and there is a lengthy waiting list for social housing, what options are left for the most vulnerable in our communities?” Mr Mercer said.
With the Australian median house price recently breaching the $1 million mark, and PropTrack Property Market Outlook research predicting that housing prices will continue to increase by as much as 11 per cent in Brisbane in 2022, Mr Mercer said the human cost of the housing boom will only continue to rise in Queensland.
“Our state is experiencing record levels of interstate migration which is just adding to an already highly competitive market and squeezing out Queenslanders who can’t keep up,” he said.
Mr Mercer said Vinnies Members around the state were struggling to keep up with requests for housing support, including families who had been priced out of their homes and faced homelessness.
“With such a lack of options in many areas, sometimes the best we can provide is a bus ticket to another town with more affordable housing, or a tent.”
Mr Mercer said with no end to the issue in sight, urgent action needs to be taken.
“A home is essential to your dignity and safety, it should be the utmost priority to ensure every Queenslander has a home, no matter what their income is,” he said.
“We’ve already seen some steps in the right direction, from last year’s State Budget setting aside $1.9 billion for social housing, and Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner recently calling for the Cross River Rail station project to include at least 30 per cent affordable and social accommodation, but there is more to be done.
“We have a long way to go to help the rising number of families who are struggling in this current housing and rental market.”
Mr Mercer said Vinnies Queensland stood by the Society’s National Council’s recent calls to establish a national independent advisory body for social housing strategy and calls to re-instate or increase Federal rental affordability and support programs to help struggling renters.
*According to recent research by Finder and CoreLogic