28 Apr

Queensland tenants left desperate in catastrophic rental crisis

Anglicare Southern Queensland has today released its annual Rental Affordability Snapshot, highlighting the worst conditions in over a decade, for low-income earners or those on income support.

The results place Brisbane on a par with Sydney and Melbourne, which were identified in the Anglicare Australia national report as among the country’s worst locations for both affordability and availability.

Anglicare Southern Queensland’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sue Cooke said that she is not surprised by the dire figures.

Anglicare Southern Queensland Chief Executive Officer Sue Cooke.

“From the 2,859 rental properties available, only 9 were affordable and appropriate for households on income support and only 82 were affordable and appropriate for those on minimum wage,” Ms Cooke said.

“Unfortunately, these figures add to countless other reports in recent weeks highlighting the tragic state of the housing market and the cost-of-living crisis.

“In an already tight market, it is the most vulnerable in our community who are the most severely impacted. How low do these figures need to go until the Government takes serious action?,” Ms Cooke said.

Ms Cooke said that while initiatives such as the Australian Government’s Housing Australia Future Fund and the Queensland Housing Investment Fund are welcome, more is needed to manage the gross undersupply of housing and provide the means for people to obtain safe and secure homes.

“The median rent for properties on the Snapshot rose from $500 a week in 2022, to a staggering $650 a week this year, confirming yet again, the urgency for Government to act,” Ms Cooke said.

“We are supporting calls from both the not-for-profit and commercial sectors for Government to invest in more social and affordable housing, increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance, and increase financial supports to enable people to afford the basic living costs of housing, food, bills, and transport.

“Housing is a human right, not a privilege. Let’s not forget these are real people – families and children – behind the statistics.”

Anglicare Southern Queensland provides crisis and transitional accommodation for people who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless.

“Our housing services are under constant strain, and unfortunately, we are having to turn away more people than we can accommodate. There is no ‘typical’ client anymore, the housing crisis is impacting people of all ages, all incomes, and all backgrounds. Even those that can afford a home simply cannot find one,” Ms Cooke said.

“We have one client in transitional housing who has applied for 49 rental properties. She can pay the rent, however as a single parent, is over-looked in a highly competitive and saturated marketplace.”