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26 March, 2021

Emergency housing shortage

The Far North and the Tablelands has seen an increase in the need for emergency, transitional and long-term housing with next to no housing available for struggling families.

By Phil Brandel

Member for Hill Shane Knuth and Better Together Community Support Inc CEO John Russell said like many social services providers they had seen increasing pressures in housing and homelessness.

The Far North and the Tablelands has seen an increase in the need for emergency, transitional and long-term housing with next to no housing available for struggling families. 

Member for Hill Shane Knuth said the Tablelands and Cassowary Coast was in desperate need of emergency accommodation. 

“Our office has been approached by a number of concerned organisations and struggling families regarding their troubles in getting accommodation,” Mr Knuth said.  

“The need to provide emergency, transitional and long-term housing must be addressed immediately. 

“We need action on this now as this issue is not going to go away.  

“We need to equip these service groups to better support the community with rental assistance and more housing.”

Better Together Community Support Inc CEO John Russell said like many social service providers on the Tablelands they had seen increasing pressures in housing and homelessness. 

“Families that we support are having real problems trying to access housing or sometimes even hold onto their existing accommodation,” Mr Russell said. 

“Trying to make ends meet when available housing stock is so low, and rental prices are starting to increase often means poorer families are forced to move further out. When moving away from the larger towns it means they also move away from the services trying to help them turn their lives around.

Mr Russell said due to COVID people were moving away from larger towns and cities, as well as returning from overseas, was all putting upward pressure on the rental market and on the very limited housing stock.

“There is not enough social housing to go around, and it is not just here, it is happening right across Queensland and I think it is only going to get worse.” He said.

“There are very long waiting lists for social housing and there is very little in the way of private rentals available.” 

“We think there are 3 issues; 

1. No crisis accommodation available on the Tablelands, 

2. Not enough social housing stock and an increasing waiting list for social housing and 

3. Not enough private housing stock to meet the increasing demand. 

“I guess you could add that there are not enough builders to go around. 

“We need help from government, both State and Federal, to increase stock and to increase support to the families who are dealing with this issue right across the Tablelands community.”



 


 


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