Shannons Struggle to Find Housing
Shannons Struggle to Find Housing

'Trapped': Mum's desperate call for more housing cash

TRAPPED in emergency housing without an end in sight, Shannon McIntosh is calling for both the state and federal governments to step up and spend more on social housing.

The 30-year-old expectant mother and her three sons, aged 14, 12, 8, have crammed into a two-bedroom unit in West End.

Desperate to secure a rental property in the $300 per week range, she's unsuccessfully applied for up to 10 properties a week and it's taking its toll on her mental health.

"(I'm feeling) extremely stressed and drained. It definitely takes a toll on my life," Ms McIntosh said.

"Looking for housing takes up most of my mental space at the moment."

And her prospects of securing a property from public housing are no better.

"I've been on the priority housing list for about nine months now. I've been told that it could be a couple of years at this rate," she said. "Something definitely needs to be done," she said.

According to a UNSW City Futures Centre study, public housing waiting lists have grown by 4 per cent, and high need applications 11 per cent, over the past year

Leading a national campaign to end homelessness, Everybody's Home spokeswoman Kate Colvin said COVID had exposed a deeply strained social housing system, lacking a supply pipeline to meet demand.

City Futures Research Centre's Bill Randolph said one of the best ways to broaden Australia's economic recovery strategy would be a large-scale national social housing program.

Herbert MP Phillip Thompson said he would be happy to look at any ideas that could ease the pressure on social housing. He blamed the state government.

"This financial year we will provide $8.2 billion in funding for housing and homelessness programs, including $1.6 billion to deliver and maintain social housing. We are also backing $2.6 billion of loans to community housing providers," Mr Thompson said

Acting Minister for Communities and Housing, Glenn Butcher said his government took a "person-centred approach to social housing need". Its $1.6 billion Housing Construction Jobs Program promised to deliver over 5500 social housing and affordable homes by 2027 - the largest investment in social housing since World War II.

A local investment of $52 million will provide 137 new homes in the Townsville region by 2022, supporting 29 full time jobs annually.

"To date, contracts have been awarded for the commencement of 122 new social housing homes. Of these, 87 homes have already been built and more are under construction, including a $3.6 million project, which will consist of 12, one-bedroom apartments being built by Ellis Developments in Aitkenvale," Mr Butcher said.

Originally published as 'Trapped': Mum's desperate call for more housing cash


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