Public housing list shorter
THE waiting line to get public housing in Gladstone has dropped by more than 220 people in the past two years.
Figures released by the Queensland Government show a 33% drop in the number of people waiting to get public housing in the city - a drop smaller than the statewide average.
In March 2012 there were 683 people waiting for public housing - at the end of September this year there were 455.
Public Works Minister Tim Mander said the improvement was due to the government helping people move into the private rental market.
"We've really challenged people that the first option isn't always public housing," he said.
"We are encouraging people who are capable of it to get into the private housing market.
"For a lot of people the issue has been getting the money for a bond.
"They can afford paying week-to-week, but it's the initial money to pay a bond that's the trouble.
"We've been providing things like bond loans that gets them into the market."
Labor Shadow Housing Minister Yvette D'Ath said Labor governments had introduced the initiatives that reduced the waiting lists.
"Once again we see the Newman government trying to claim credit for Labor's initiatives," she said.
"It was Labor who introduced RentConnect.
"It was Labor who built record amounts of social housing across Queensland as part of the national response to the Global Financial Crisis.
"It was Labor who introduced the National Rental Affordability Scheme.
"Labor also used bond loans to give people a hand up.
"Between conservative governments at the state and federal level, NRAS has been scrapped, the social housing has stopped and advocacy services have been axed.
"Under the LNP, building of social housing has stopped altogether and the jobless rate is climbing.
"It's hard to have housing security if you don't have a job."
WHAT IS THE WAITING LIST IN NEARBY TOWNS?
Emerald - 2012: 170 - 2014: 65 - 62% drop
Rockhampton - 2012: 694 - 2014: 470 - 32% drop
Queensland - 2012: 30,723 - 2014: 17,985 - 41% drop.