More than 17,000 property damage assessments have been carried out in South East Queensland as the state government prepares to implement a series of measures in response to ongoing housing and homelessness issues after recent heavy rains and floods.
In Gympie – 202 houses were found severely damaged – 94 moderate and another 124 – minor.
Nine others suffered serious damage in Noosa and on the Sunshine Coast.
Communities and Housing Minister Leeanne Enoch said those efforts included the creation of a $600,000 rapid response fund to provide improved housing and homelessness services in affected areas.
The government is working closely with specialist homelessness services and community housing providers in activated disaster areas to provide essential responses to people in need of housing support.
There are currently 1,035 people from 461 households who have already received emergency accommodation following the severe weather event.
“Flood waters are receding in the South East, but following such a large disaster, we know there are people in Queensland who need help finding safe and stable housing,” said said Mrs. Enoch.
“We know there was unprecedented demand in the Queensland housing market before this latest flood.
“Record interstate migration, rising real estate prices, very low vacancy rates, COVID-19 and inclement weather have created a perfect storm.”
Ms Enoch says several options are being considered to increase housing supply, particularly in the short term.
“This includes working with local hotel and motel partners to book suitable hotel accommodation for short-term accommodation needs and exploring the capacity of previous quarantine accommodations,” she says.
“We are also exploring private sector offers, including commercial, vacation, mobile or other short-term rentals.
“These are options that could help a number of individuals and families who may not be able to live in their own homes due to flood damage.”
The government says a range of rent relief measures are also available for social housing tenants who cannot stay in their homes due to flood-related damage and property in need of repairs.
“Our officers have been on the ground in evacuation centers in affected areas providing housing assistance and support and this work is continuing in the community recovery centers that are opening in the southeast,” said Mrs. Enoch.
If you need housing assistance, call 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or go to the nearest Housing Service Centre.
For more information on housing support available visit www.qld.gov.au/housing
If you are or are at risk of becoming homeless, contact the Homelessness Hotline free of charge on 1800 474 753 (24/7).
For more information on available grants, a full list of enabled areas and community recovery center locations, visit: www.qld.gov.au/SEQRecoveryGrants
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