Rents not low enough for most vulnerable

IF YOU are single and living on the dole there aren't any houses cheap enough for you to rent in Gladstone, a report has found.

On top of this Anglicare's "Snapshot" report into rental affordability found that out of 1,783 private rentals across Gladstone, Rockhampton and Emerald, only 4% were affordable and appropriate for a single person living on the age pension or on a disability support pension.

If you are single with one child only 3% of rental housing is affordable and appropriate.

Although this year's Snapshot showed more affordable rentals available than April 2015, there are still people facing critical shortages of suitable and affordable housing.

There are no properties affordable for a single person on Newstart - a situation unchanged since last year's Snapshot. Young people, people on the Age Pension and people on Disability Support Pension are also under-served by our local supply of affordable private rentals.

AnglicareCQ CEO Suzie Christensen said we should be cautious about looking at the easing rental prices as a positive change when it is a direct result of the downturn in the resource sector.

"Dropping rents can be a sign of more competition for affordably-priced rentals, and is also indicative of the exodus of transient workers in the Gladstone and Emerald areas," Ms Christensen says.

"Every individual's housing needs vary across their lifetime, and there will be people in our community who have needs like disability access that aren't met through conventional housing stock.

"We need to examine our community's needs for accessible, culturally appropriate housing that is sensitive to the needs and lives of the people who live here," she said.

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