CQ needs diverse housing mix for less well-off
THE LOW price of rentals in Gladstone will only give temporary relief to those living on the minimum wage and Newstart, a housing support provider has warned.
Anglicare's Rental Affordability Report for Central Queensland found during the past 24 months the amount of affordable housing in the region had increased due to the mining downturn.
But it said this was not all good news for residents living on Newstart, the age pension or the minimum wage.
The report, which analysed available properties on the weekend of March 28, found there were 432 properties available to rent for people on income support payments.
"This year's Rental Affordability Snapshot showed high affordability percentages across the region except for singles on Newstart and youth allowance payments," it said.
"However, we must be cautious of treating easing rental prices as a positive change when it is symptomatic of a downturn in an important local industry and a sign of a struggling local economy.
"It also provides incentive for transient households to take advantage of lower rents, without the support networks in place and often leads to further stress on an already struggling community."
The report, which was released this week, said despite the drop in rental costs, Central Queensland - which includes Gladstone, Rockhampton, Emerald and Blackwater - needed a better mix of housing to help support the region's diverse needs.
"Local results show sound rental affordability in the region, however this can be attributed to the downturn in the local mining sector and consequent negative effects on the local economy," the report said.
"Central Queensland, like Australia as a whole, needs a reliable and forward-thinking supply of social housing to ensure all our residents have a safe, suitable place to call home."