05:45, March 14, 2022•3 minute read
05:45, March 14, 2022
3 minute read
As the catastrophic flood leaves thousands homeless, the Queensland Government is rolling out measures to address housing challenges.
The Queensland Government has announced a $600,000 Rapid Response Fund to help provide improved housing and homeless services in affected areas.
In Queensland, 1,035 people from 461 households received emergency accommodation, but housing shortages due to Queensland’s “unprecedented demand” for housing before the floods made the current disaster more difficult.
Communities and Housing Minister Leeanne Enoch said record interstate migration, rising house prices, very low vacancy rates, COVID-19 and inclement weather have created a “perfect storm”.
She said the government was considering “several options” 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 said.
“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.”
It comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared a national emergency in response to the ‘catastrophic’ event which will help reduce ‘bureaucracy’ and ensure all emergency powers are available.
The Queensland Government said it would work closely with specialist homelessness services and community housing providers in activated disaster areas to provide essential responses to people in need of housing support.
‘This is about providing a housing response that is wide-ranging and includes support for displaced landlords, people in the private rental market and those in need of the social housing safety net,’ Ms Enoch said. .
“We do this in a way that takes into account the individual and the diverse needs of households.
“This includes providing accommodation solutions with appropriate supports for people with disabilities and people experiencing homelessness or domestic and family violence.”
She said a range of products, programs and services are available to support people in the private rental or home ownership markets.
“In response to community needs, we have temporarily expanded the use and eligibility of products such as Bond Loans, Bond Plus Loans and Rental Grants for Queensland residents in Disaster Enabled Areas, which are displaced from their property due to weather events.“, Mrs said Enoch.
“A range of rent relief measures are also available for social housing tenants who cannot stay in their accommodation due to flood-related damage and property in need of repairs.”
[Related: Fresh flood support, as Prime Minsiter declares national emergency]