Martin Place, Sydney tent city for the homeless. Picture: Bill Hearne
Martin Place, Sydney tent city for the homeless. Picture: Bill Hearne

REPORT: CQ hit harder by housing stress, homelessness

CENTRAL Queenslanders will be hit harder by housing stress (55.2 per cent) and homelessness (31.9 per cent) than anywhere across the state, according to a new report on the economic impact of COVID.

The report calls on the Federal Government to invest $7.2 billion in social housing across the country, which could make a serious dent in homelessness, turbocharge the post pandemic economy by $18.2 billion, and create 18,000 jobs per year over four years.

Titled Double return: How investing in social housing can address the growing homelessness crisis and boost Australia’s economic recovery, the report was released today.

The Observer has recently revealed the less than 1 per-cent vacancy rate in the regions rental market, increasing rent, and the extent of Gladstone’s Public Housing shortage.

The report was commissioned by Everybody’s Home, a group attempting to fix Australia’s housing system and end homelessness, and was prepared by Equity Economics.

To ease the looming crisis, the group called on the government to invest around $1.71 billion in Queensland, which would create 5698 new homes.

“It will be Central Queensland that will be hardest hit with homelessness set to increase by 31.9 per cent and housing stress by 55.2 per cent,” a spokeswoman said.

“The report reveals that in East Brisbane homelessness will rise by 15.6 per cent and housing stress by 35.2 per cent.”

Couch surfing could be on the rise following a new report into the housing crisis in Central Queensland and Australia.
Couch surfing could be on the rise following a new report into the housing crisis in Central Queensland and Australia.

Across the state, it is predicted 11.4 per cent more Queensland households will experience housing stress in 2021 due to the impact of the crisis.

Everybody’s Home spokeswoman Kate Colvin said stable housing was vital for the nation to progress post COVID.

“A secure, stable home is among our basic needs,” she said.

“With decent housing, we can fulfil our dreams, raise a family, and connect with our community.

“Take it away and even the most resilient person’s world will shatter into a million pieces.”

Ms Colvin said homelessness and housing stress often lead to mental health issues.

“Homelessness and housing stress are a hothouse for anxiety, depression, and family breakdown.

“It’s in everyone’s interest to prevent this.

“This modelling paints a frightening picture of the months and years ahead.

“No child should go to school unsure if their parents will lose the house before they get home.

“But that is the type of stress that’s about to be inflicted on thousands of Australian families and individuals.”

Ms Colvin said it need not be this way.

“A Federal Government investment in social housing provides the most compelling social and economic return possible during an economic crisis,” she said.

“Social housing investment simultaneously attacks homelessness from multiple angles, giving more people a secure home, creating thousands of jobs and boosting economic demand.

“Investing in social housing is a no-brainer that will boost prosperity and help tens of thousands of people whose lives have been destroyed by COVID.”

Queensland snapshot:

  • 3.6% increase in homelessness, 11.4% increase in housing stress.
  • In Central Qld there will be a 31.9% increase in homelessness and 55.2% increase in housing stress.
  • Housing stress will rise by 32.1% on the Gold Coast, 30.5% in Brisbane’s Inner City and 31.3% in Brisbane’s West.
  • A $1.7 billion investment would create 5698 jobs, 3100 jobs and boost the Qld economy by $3.2 billion.

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