John hopes for relief at ground zero of Queensland’s most struggling regions - St Vincent de Paul Society QLD
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    John hopes for relief at ground zero of Queensland’s most struggling regions

    Logan, has been named as the region with the highest rate of housing stress in Queensland, along with Beaudesert.

    When a new report named Logan and Beaudesert as experiencing the highest rate of housing stress in the state, it wasn’t entirely a shock to St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland Member John McClelland.

    As the Logan Regional President Logan region, John is one of the many Society Members on the front lines in the fight against homelessness and poverty in our communities.

    “The need just seems to increase every week – I reckon some weeks the number of people coming to us for help is triple what it was just two years ago,” Mr McClelland said.

    “We’ve seen a lot of people coming to us with their rent increasing by $80, $100, even $140 a week and that’s beyond what they can afford.”

    The new report from the Community Housing Industry Association and the University of Queensland showed on average, 7.5 per cent of Brisbane house holds and 8.1 per cent of regional Queensland house holds were struggling in an unaffordable housing market.

    For Logan and Beaudesert residents, that number was 10 per cent – the highest in the state.

    “We’ve always had issues with homelessness here but it’s never been as bad as this,” John said.

    “Where it used to be singles coming to us for a home, now it’s families.

    “It’s not uncommon to hear from mum and dad with kids all living in a car because there’s nowhere to go.”

    South Coast President John Blake, who works with Society Members in regions including Logan, Redlands, Beaudesert and the Gold Coast, said financial stress was a real concern in the community. 

    Behind the beautiful beaches of the Gold Coast lies an ongoing affordable housing shortage that has led to an increase in homelessness among vulnerable residents.

    The Gold Coast reported the second highest number of rental stress in Queensland, tied with Moreton Bay North at 9.9 per cent.

    “Many families are in these high-stress situations and sometimes it gets too much for them,” he said.

    “We’re seeing a lot of domestic violence cases come in lately – this extra stress leads to outburst and then the family have to leave to seek safety and a new home – only there are very few available

    “It’s a vicious cycle.”

    Mr Blake said residents living between south Brisbane and the Gold Coast were also impacted by increases in fuel prices.

    “There’s limited public transport or infrastructure in and around many new communities out there so if you can’t use your car, options are limited,” he said.

    Throughout the housing crisis, our Members in the South Coast region delivered nearly $1.3m in direct financial assistance to people in need in the 2021-2022 financial year.