Vinnies Queensland calls on the Fed Government to address housing crisis pressures
With Queensland families experiencing or at risk of homelessness waiting an average of 27 months to secure social housing, Vinnies Queensland is calling for urgent action to address the state’s housing crisis in the lead up to the Federal Election on Saturday, 21 May.
Vinnies Queensland CEO Kevin Mercer said it was heartbreaking to see more and more local families coming to the charity desperate to find housing as vacancy rates drop to below 1 per cent throughout the state.
“We are running out of options –crisis accommodation centres are all full, affordable accommodation is next to impossible to find and the waiting list for social housing is growing by the day,” Mr Mercer said.
“It’s the most vulnerable in our communities that are suffering the most in this crisis and until we see significant action from our leaders, the situation will continue to worsen.”
Vinnies Queensland is calling for the development of an urgent national housing strategy to address the ongoing crisis, seeing Federal, State and Local Governments working together to increase social housing stock.
While building new social housing will help in the long-term, the charity is also calling for immediate relief to increase the Commonwealth Rental Assistance supplement by 50 per cent to keep Queenslanders housed, and keep up with growing rental costs and costs of living.
“Rent prices continue to increase throughout the state and the average Australian surviving on minimum wage or JobSeeker is struggling to keep up,” Mr Mercer said.
“An increase to the maximum Commonwealth Rental Assistance rate by 50 per cent will go a long way in helping our most vulnerable residents.”
Mr Mercersaid a commitment to a national housing strategy and the construction of 5,000 social housing dwellings in Queensland each year for the next 10 years would be critical to keep up with rising demand.
“We have needed a significant investment in social and affordable housing for some time,and recent record interstate migration and low interest rates have brought the situation to a critical point,”he said.
“Social housing is usually seen as a stateissue, but with multiple states in a crisis situation, we are calling for a united approach that sees our federal, state and local government leaders working together on a solution.
“Vinnies Queensland supports calls from Vinnies Australia, QCOSS (Queensland Council of Social Service) and the LGAQ (Local Government Association of Queensland) to develop a national housing strategy that involves all levels of government.”
Vinnies Queensland’s asks include:
- Social and community housing
- Commitment of a multi-billion investment in national social housing and development of a national housing strategy
- Review Commonwealth Rent Assistance and increase the maximum rate by 50 per cent
- Reinstate the National Rental Affordability Scheme