Government plan for low-income families on Gold Coast

gold coast village
The recent increase in competition in the Gold Coast property market is a result of the new developments and increase in tourist attraction for the upcoming Commonwealth Games
Photo: AAP Image/Dave Hunt


The Palaszczuk Government has released a $1.8 billion Housing Strategy  to generate new jobs, affordable housing and protect low-income families.

The strategy, released at the begining of August,  will see 392 social housing properties being built on the Gold Coast during the next five years.

As of 2016, 17 per cent of households on the Gold Coast were earning less than $650 per week. According to Homelessness Australia, a combination of the chronic shortage of affordable and available housing accounted for 36 per cent of homeless people that year.

The waiting time for social housing on the Gold Coast is currently up to 10 years.

According to the Queensland Cost of Living Survey (QCOSS), the basic cost of living has been superseding low-income families since 2014.

REIQ media spokesperson Felicity Moore says that whilst the market is tight it’s not the worst it has been.

“In March 2015 [the vacancy rate] was 1.3%, which is tighter than it is now,” Ms Moore said.

“We have seen [the vacancy rate] go from about 2.5% down to 1.7%, so that’s still quite tight.”

The lack of available housing means low-income families are feeling the pressure to maintain a roof over their heads.

“If you’re a low income earner the tight market makes it difficult to secure long term tenancy and this would impact very heavily on the type of accommodation you can choose from as well,” Ms Moore said.

“The market forces dictate when demand goes up and supply doesn’t expand to accommodate then prices will rise.”

Gold Coast resident Taylor Weickel says the competitive market has made it almost impossible for single mothers like herself to be able to live on the Gold Coast.

“It has already started… a lot of single mothers I know are finding it extremely hard, in most cases there’s more than 20 people lined up to look at the house,” Ms Weickel said.

“More people are getting turned down… a lot more people aren’t going to have homes.”

“Right now for lower class people its hell on earth trying to live on the Gold Coast, it’s almost impossible.”

The rise in the market is expected to continue until 2020 with increases of up to 25 per cent, according to the PRDnationwide 2018 Commonwealth Games residential property report.

REIQ media spokesperson Ms Moore said the increases can be attributed to the growing numbers of tourists and external stakeholders in the area.

“Visitors coming to the region for the Games will continue to come for quite some time, for the duration of the Games and for a period after the Games have concluded,” Ms Moore said.

“That’s obviously going to impact on the lower end of the market and make it more challenging to secure accommodation.”

The Housing Strategy aims to leverage the market by 10 per cent within the first five years.

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