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Greens demand more social housing as wait list blows out to 47,000

The Greens are demanding greater investment in social housing as new analysis shows the number of people on the social housing wait list has blown out to around 47,000 - an increase of 20% in less than a year. 

Greens MP Michael Berkman:

“Queensland is in the middle of a social housing crisis and it’s only going to get worse when income support and rental protections are cut in September. 

“Queenslanders need a real plan to create jobs and homes for everyone who needs them - and so far we’re yet to see that from either major party.

“The Greens have asked the Government to consider a massive construction stimulus package for Queensland that would house everyone on the wait list and create 20,000 good, steady construction jobs a year building 100,000 units of public housing. 

“We’ve also proposed revenue raising measures, including increased mining royalties and a modest 0.05% levy on the big banks, so that big corporations, not everyday Queenslanders, pay for our state’s economic recovery. 

"With over 25,000 applications for social housing on the waiting list, the Government’s plan to only build 215 extra units of social housing could see tens of thousands of extra homeless people on our streets."

Under the Greens’ Jobs and Homes Plan, social homes would be first allocated to those currently on Queensland’s social housing waiting list, then made available to every Queenslander regardless of income. Rents would be capped at 25% of a person's income or market rent, whichever is lower. 


The Housing Minister’s response to Michael Hart’s Question on Notice shows 25,613 applications on the Queensland social housing register as at 31 May 2020. That’s a 20% increase from 2019.  These numbers do not show the number of people for each application - those details will be released in September. We do know however that the average number of people per application is 1.8. 

Based on the rate of increase shown here and using that average, we can assume the total number of people now on the waiting list is approximately 47,000. That represents an increase on the 2019 figure (39,513 total people) of almost 20%. It is also worth noting that the most significant increases in application numbers are in the “very high” category of need.

Category A applicants are those  living on the streets; whose existing housing is makeshift or illegal; those fleeing domestic violence; at risk of violence/abuse from another person; who have lost their accommodation due to a residential service or caravan park closure; where their existing housing is temporary and supported accommodation such as a refuge, or who are staying in a shelter or crisis accommodation.

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