Gladstone properties still unaffordable for many renters
GLADSTONE'S most vulnerable are being crippled by the region's highest rents - and something must be done about it.
More investment is needed in affordable housing in the region, a leading social welfare organisation said, as it released a report into the state's rental affordability.
The most expensive advertised rental properties in central Queensland are in Gladstone, according to Anglicare's Australian Rental Affordability Snapshot.
This was despite the rental market showing significant increases in availability over the past 12 months.
Anglicare released the report on Wednesday.
It said the rental market remained largely unaffordable to singles and families reliant on government benefits.
Anglicare central Queensland CEO Suzie Christensen said the region needed to look at increasing the stock of community housing.
"We're also calling on Federal and State governments to commit to five-year contracts for the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness," she said.
The organisation's National Rental Affordability Scheme is offered in Gladstone. The scheme helps low and moderate-income earners access rental properties that would usually be outside their price range.
There are currently 46 Anglicare NRAS properties in Gladstone and Calliope.
"Increasing the support for initiatives like the National Rental Affordability Scheme will enable those people on lower incomes greater access to affordable housing," Ms Christensen said.
"Rental affordability in central Queensland has seen significant improvements in 2014 compared to the previous two years, however, it remains largely unaffordable to those reliant on government benefits and low incomes."
The annual snapshot assessed information from realestate.com.au on April 5.
Properties were deemed affordable if their rent was less than 30% of the household's after-tax income.