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The Auditor General’s report on delivering social housing services shows 78% growth in the register of need over four years. In just one year, the number of households waiting for social housing in Queensland grew from 27,933 to 30,922.
The report indicates only 61% of those households are likely to be allocated social housing’ says Executive Director Fiona Caniglia.
“The report is clear that plans for an additional 6,365 dwellings by 2025 is far short of what is needed. The list of people waiting for assistance is likely to grow because of increasing rents, rising interest rates, and very little supply in private rental housing”.
“The report highlights a lack of planning for future needs. Q Shelter has called for improved planning and forecasting for all housing supply to meet community needs inclusive of forecasting and targets for social and affordable housing. Queensland is behind other States with only 3.4% of housing supply which is social housing. Across Australia the proportion is over 4%”.
“Q Shelter supports findings that there is a need for improved processes in managing applications. Assessing people’s housing needs is a complex process, which becomes even more challenging when there is a surge in demand. With such a surge in demand, it is understandable that more resources are needed to ensure good assessment and to ensure active engagement with people on the register”.
“Similarly, helping households to downsize to reduce underoccupancy requires careful engagement, time, and resources. There also needs to be an alternative home for people to go to which can be a barrier in the current market”.
The report highlights a total portfolio of 74,133 social housing dwellings inclusive of 18,855 dwellings in the community housing sector. The surge in demand warrants full examination of an expanded role for community housing providers.
“If community housing providers could manage more social housing tenancies and also hold title to the properties that they manage, then the combination of increased equity and cash flow means they can debt finance growth. Q Shelter has called for title and stock management transfers to accelerate growth in supply.”
“We have also called for more State investment in capital funding for affordable housing products available at a discounted market rent. This prevents many households from requiring social housing because there are more upstream options which help them prevent progression to homelessness.”
“Affordable housing products mixed with social housing products help improve the sustainability of communities and is a context for more viable financial models to deliver much needed housing over time”.