Shocking data reveals region’s homelessness issue
NEW data has revealed Gladstone’s shocking homelessness issue, with 800 homeless people sleeping rough in the Flynn area.
Homelessness Australia and Everybody’s Home campaign have released heatmaps that show regional Queensland’s social housing need and homelessness.
The data shows regional Queensland are among Australia’s worst affected areas for homelessness and social housing need – even before job losses as a result of COVID-19.
According to the data, 13,700 people are homeless in regional and rural Queensland on any one night and more than 65,000 social housing properties were needed in regional and rural federal electorates.
The Flynn electorate recorded a need for 3100 social houses for people who were homeless or people on low incomes.
The data also revealed there were 800 homeless people in the Flynn area.
Chair of Homelessness Australia Jenny Smith said the heatmaps showed homelessness was a problem in all Australian communities, whether they were remote, regional or metropolitan.
“People often think homelessness is an issue mainly in cities and CBDs, but the maps show that to be a myth,” Ms Smith said.
“The lack of housing that people can afford is not only the biggest cause of homelessness, but it also prevents people escaping from homelessness.”
As part of Homelessness Week, Homelessness Australia and Everybody’s Home are calling on all federal MPs to sign a social housing pledge committing to investing in social housing.
A coalition of housing advocacy groups has developed the Social Housing Acceleration and Renovation Program.
The SHARP details building 30,000 social homes over the next four years to create more than 18,000 jobs per year while combating homelessness.
“The growth in unemployment as a consequence of COVID-19 and cuts to social security payments will drive further increases in homelessness,” Ms Smith said.
“By investing in social housing, the government will not only give more people a home but will also keep more people in a job.”
Everybody’s Home spokesman Kate Colvin said more than 300 member organisations would have a meeting with local MPs to discuss how they can support social housing investment.
“This data shows homelessness effects all electorates,” Ms Colvin said.