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  • Writer's pictureBruce Giddings

Moreton's Housing Stress Hotspots

Caboolture and North Moreton have been listed as in trouble, with 9.9% of households in housing stress.


Only Beaudesert-Logan suffers more housing stress than Moreton Bay North, with Ipswich taking out third place, according to a recent report.


“Victims of housing stress fall into crisis for all sorts of reasons, usually through no fault of their own. Domestic violence, job loss, expensive rents, mental health issues and expired leases can all force people into their cars, tents or worse.

Only Beaudesert-Logan suffers more housing stress than Moreton Bay North, with Ipswich taking out third place, according to a recent report.


The analysis was jointly produced by the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) and the UNSW City Futures Research Centre, and defines housing stress as homelessness, living in overcrowded homes, or spending more than 30% of income on rent.


The responsibility for providing social housing for citizens in need lies jointly with state and federal governments. Still, a long waiting list awaits those who qualify for help.


Queensland’s Auditor General Brendan Worrall has been vocal about the failures in Queensland, warning last year that state home-builds planned for 2025 were unlikely to reduce the waiting list.


“These dwellings alone will not be sufficient….”, he said.


After last year’s housing summit, the government released an outcome report promoting an “increased target of 5,600 new social and affordable home commencements by 30 June 2027”.


This figure falls well short, with over 30,000 successful applications waiting in the pipeline right now and the stated commencement date four years into the future.


Whilst not responsible for housing, the Moreton Bay Regional Council stepped in last year to offer incentives for the construction of community housing.


At that time Mayor Peter Flannery made it clear who is ultimately responsible for the lack of social housing stock.


“There used to be a nation-wide routine public housing construction program years ago,” he said.


“But since 1996 we’ve seen the country’s population boom 40% while social housing stock has only increased 4%....”


Instead of getting effective solutions from governments, renters must now rely on a private rental market stricken with skyrocketing prices and plummeting housing availability.


According to Cameron Murray, a University of Sydney economist and author, the market forces behind those rising prices are perpetuated by weak government regulations, combined with a network of personal relationships between the rule-makers and big business.


Dr Murray believes the relationships between private business interests and government must be scrutinised more closely. He also wants to bust the myth that opening up more land will lead to lower housing prices, and cheaper rents.


If Dr Murray is correct, the new land opening up in Caboolture West will do little to repair the housing stress in Caboolture.


Charities such as volunteer-run Caboolture Community Action are the soldiers on this housing battlefront. Confronted with evidence of a dysfunctional rental market every day, they struggle with surging demand for accommodation and food relief.


Victims of housing stress fall into crisis for all sorts of reasons, usually through no fault of their own. Domestic violence, job loss, expensive rents, mental health issues and expired leases can all force people into their cars, tents or worse.


Charities are busy picking up the pieces and deserve all the support they can get. They can only function through donations from the community.


To find assistance or to make a donation, a list of organisations offering assistance in Moreton Bay can be found under www.mycommunitydirectory.com.au/Queensland/Moreton_Bay/Welfare_Assistance


Is there a difference between Social and Community Housing?


Social housing is secure and affordable rental housing for people on low incomes with housing needs. It includes public, community and Aboriginal housing.


Community housing is housing that is either owned or managed by not-for-profit community sector organisations.


Reference: Parliament of Australia

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