The housing crisis is felt across Australia, but in Queensland it has become so severe that some people are choosing to stay in jail rather than try their luck on the streets.
Amid this desperation, the Premier of Queensland was caught slashing public housing in her own working-class electorate at a time when demand has never been higher.
A record 50,000 people are now waiting for government-subsidized housing across Queensland and the state government-run housing services center in Inala is full of heartbreak stories.
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Carla is a single mother with two children who has been waiting for a transfer for over a year.
“I’ve seen families living in cars with kids, people living in parks, it’s just wrong and it’s very sad,” Carla said.
Sarah, 32, said she lived on couches or ‘had relationships with people just to have a place to stay’.
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The mother-of-three was released from prison last year and said it was solely because of her young daughter that she was granted subsidized property.
The other prisoners are not so lucky.
“I know a lot of girls in there, they would rather stay in jail than get out because there are no houses available, there is no help,” she said. declared.
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The housing crisis forced Mohammed Toba to spend the last five weeks in a motel with his three children.
It showed A topical matter around the tiny motel room where he pays $135 a night just to have a roof over their heads.
“We don’t have cooking facilities, just a microwave,” he said.
He has lived in Australia for 15 years, works as an entrepreneur and does not receive any social benefits.
A lack of social housing combined with a shortage of rents left him in this difficult situation.
Against this desperate backdrop of increased need for social housing in the Inala electorate, local MP and Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk has overseen a decrease in the number of rooms available.
An analysis of Queensland Government social housing statistics shows that over the past four years the number of available rooms in Inala has fallen by 102, the biggest drop of any voter in the state.
Labor-held seats of Bundamba (64), Bancroft (57), Stafford (45) and Gaven (34) round out the top five with the biggest reduction in public housing rooms from 2018 to 2021 inclusive.
Shadow Housing Minister Tim Mander has increased his Everton seat by 28 rooms and claimed the Premier and his team are ‘all about the conversation not the action’.
“I think the current crisis is the worst Queensland has ever seen,” Mander said.
“You can’t have a family with two kids in a hotel room, night after night after night. What does that do for their education? What does that do for people’s mental health It can’t be good.”
The premier and her treasurer, Cameron Dick, regularly play on their working-class roots while trumpeting a $2.9 billion investment in new social housing.
“Labour always spends more on social and affordable housing because we live in these communities,” Dick told reporters last month.
“People like the Prime Minister and I know how much our communities depend on social housing.”
The Prime Minister burst into parliament today when quizzed on her shrinking electorate, calling Mander a ‘disgrace’.
“I am absolutely satisfied with the renewal that is happening in my constituency,” Palaszczuk said.
“I am satisfied with the new complexes that have been built during my tenure.
“It’s a wonderful Vietnamese community (and) their families stay there and they buy houses, they raise their families.”
Sudanese-born Toba would love to buy his own house one day, but for now he’s just trying to find a way out of this motel.
“Children should go to school and lead a comfortable life,” Toba said.
“It’s very difficult not to have a garden to play in. When the children come home after school, they stay at the motel.”
Pensioner Eileen said most people don’t even bother to get on the social housing waiting list anymore, calling the crisis “terrible”.
“They keep wasting money on things like the Olympics. They’re not important, the people are important,” Eileen said.
She believes a growing number of people in Inala want the prime minister to prioritize his constituents over the Olympics, which will be held in 2032.
“She doesn’t do anything for Inala at all.”
Mander believes the prime minister’s priorities “seem to be elsewhere, not with the people she claims to represent.”
“The Olympics are good for our city, but we have to make sure we don’t let those people on the edges fall through the cracks,” he said.
A spokesman for the prime minister called the Liberal National Party’s record on social housing “shameful”, saying there had been “a marked decline in the total number of social housing units” when Mander was housing minister between 2012 and 2014.
“Their federal colleagues in the LNP have also turned their backs on Queenslanders by walking away from the National Rental Affordability Scheme with nothing in place to support the thousands of Queenslanders who rely on this scheme to access safe and affordable housing,” the official said. spokesperson.
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