Parliament
Parliament

Social housing wait list explodes as Govt fails to keep up

The Queensland Labor Government spent less per capita on social housing and increased its property portfolio by just 73 as the state's waiting list exploded to nearly 21,000 people last year.

As the coronavirus pandemic bit for the state's most marginalised, the Government spent an extra $47 million on the problem, but didn't keep up with population growth.

The expenditure per head was $132, down from $135 in 2018-19, and it was the second lowest spend rate in the country, according to the 2021 Report on Government Services.

Housing Minister Leeanne Enoch
Housing Minister Leeanne Enoch

It follows years of the Government talking up its plans to increase public housing. Despite spending $1.05 billion on social housing in 2019-20, there was 20,820 people waiting for public housing as at June 30, 2020 - up from 15,817 a year earlier.

Similar explosions in demand did not happen in other states, including locked-down Victoria, according to the newly released report.

The massive spike in demand follows the announcement of the Government's Housing Construction Jobs Program, which planned to build 2972 new social housing dwellings in the first five years as part of the $1.8 billion 2017-27 Queensland Housing Strategy.

But the latest figures show that Queensland social housing stock has grown by just 627 dwellings since 2017.

More than 18,000 of the people waiting for homes in 2020 were classed as "greatest need" applicants.

A further 3000 people were waiting for a transfer within the state's network of 51,890 social housing dwellings.

The numbers of public housing households that were overcrowded continued to rise marginally to about 5 per cent last year.

The rate of overcrowded Indigenous housing was 14 per cent.

Those rates came as 15 per cent of housing was being under-utilised, which means accommodation was bigger than necessary for the people or person living there.

It takes an average of 34 days to get a family into a vacant property, and the government has managed to improve that turnaround time from the previous year, when it took 44 days.

The State Government pledged to deliver 452 social housing dwellings, commence construction of 832 dwellings, upgrade existing stock and purchase dwellings and land for future construction as part of its 2020-21 Budget announced in December.

Originally published as Labor all talk on exploding social crisis

The Palaszczuk Government has added 627 social housing dwellings to its stock since 2017.
The Palaszczuk Government has added 627 social housing dwellings to its stock since 2017.


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