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Community

17 August, 2021

No relief in sight for regional renters as COVID adds to the growing pressure.

With the recent COVID-19 outbreaks and an already growing housing crisis, Queensland renting families are feeling the pressure. The state government introduced proposed new housing legislation into Parliament in June, but community organisations and tenancy advocates are warning these laws do not go far enough to help Queensland renters safely stay in their homes, even during times of lockdown.


With the recent COVID-19 outbreaks and an already growing housing crisis, Queensland renting families are feeling the pressure. 

The state government introduced proposed new housing legislation into Parliament in June, but community organisations and tenancy advocates are warning these laws do not go far enough to help Queensland renters safely stay in their homes, even during times of lockdown.

 Jessica Brake from Mackay Regional Community Legal Centre, said that it is not just people in the Brisbane area that are being affected. Families in regional Queensland are facing some of the greatest pressure.

 “Not only is there less than 1 per cent rental vacancy, there has been a 12.5 per cent increase in asking rent prices.   “We hear from people on a daily basis about how much they are struggling in the Mackay rental market. 

So many of the tenants we are seeing are being required to leave their homes, even though they have been good tenants and paid their rent when due.

 With vacancy rates so low and rents increasing due to demand, it is extremely difficult to find alternative accommodation. This naturally makes it a really stressful time for them and puts families in dire situations. 

  “So, what we’re seeing here in Mackay is that you will have families who pay enormous rent, but have little to no money left for other basic essentials. It’s heart breaking,” she said. 

The Mackay Regional Community Legal Centre and 50 other community organisations have come together to join the Make Renting Fair in Queensland Alliance to say that these reforms will make it harder for struggling Queensland renting families, not easier. 

They say that despite real estates knowing there is no vacancies in the area, they are still asking families to leave for no other reason than their fixed term lease has expired.

 Ros Connor from Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre, another Make Renting Fair in Queensland Alliance member, said that rental vacancies in the area were so low that they are under 1 percent.   

“There are families who are having to decide between moving in with parents, which leads to overcrowding in homes, or moving away from their community, which disrupts schooling and support networks.    “In Queensland, of the 1.8 million people who rent there is 43 per cent of households with dependent children.

 We need families to be able to stay in their homes, safely.” said Ms Connor. The Make Renting Fair in Queensland Alliance is calling on people to write to the Premier to urgently make changes to the proposed legislation, before it is passed in early September.


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