Tenants Queensland congratulates the State Government on taking positive steps to improve access and affordability to housing for Queenslanders, with the release of the Housing Summit Outcomes Report today, but there is more to be done to making renting fair in Queensland.
The short-term relief measures in the Report are positive and will help those already struggling. We welcome the cost-of-living support measures such as increased funds for food relief and other types of emergency relief.
There is also increased support to those struggling with the costs of rent, which we are very pleased to see.
Positive steps to improve housing supply are being taken, with land immediately available already identified, as well as buildings that can be repurposed, helping bring forward supply solutions. The $1 billion boost to the Housing Investment Fund (to $2 billion) is very welcome.
Unfortunately, the Report does not include any reference to the Government’s promised second stage of tenancy law reforms. Any sustainable solution to Queensland’s housing crisis also requires legislative reform.
In the last twelve months, the average rental increase in Queensland was $110 per week.
Any increase to rent subsidies needs to be coupled with legislated limits to rent increases or we risk pushing rents even higher.
We need to protect renters from arbitrary evictions, allow them to make reasonable changes to their homes to make them safe and accessible, and make it easier for renters to get their bonds back. These changes would level the playing field and make renting in Queensland fairer for everyone.
There also needs to be more work done to identify vacant premises and properties that have been moved into short-term letting markets, such as AirBnB, which is putting further pressure on the housing market. Applying disincentives to this will get more properties into the long-term rental market and provide immediate relief to housing supply.
We are reassured to see the Premier, Deputy Premier, Treasurer, and multiple Ministers committed to addressing this, and congratulate the Government on their work to date, however there is still more to be done.