Housing and Public Works Minister Bruce Flegg.
Housing and Public Works Minister Bruce Flegg. Max Fleet

Coast life not ideal for those in need of public housing

THE Sunshine and Gold Coasts are home to more people in need of public housing than anywhere else in the state.

The State Government estimates it will have to increase the housing supply by 35% just to put a roof over the head of everyone on the waiting list.

According to Housing and Public Works Department figures and based on regional public housing centres, there are 2155 households waiting for social housing in Maroochydore.

In Caboolture, 1335 households are waiting for any of the 3276 state-owned houses - currently occupied - to become available.

But Robina on the Gold Coast holds the unfavourable title as the worse in Queensland with 2637 households waiting for a home.

Housing and Public Works Minister Bruce Flegg said the waiting list increased by almost 50% in the space of three years.

"Between 2008 and 2011, the number of households on the waiting list jumped from around 21,000 to more than 30,000," he said.

"In some parts of the state, there are more applications on the waiting list than there are units of social housing."

Dr Flegg said people on the waiting list were assessed by their need, which meant some people would remain waiting for decades.

In the resource rich towns of Emerald and Gladstone, the waiting list is a fraction shorter, with 161 and 276 households respectively waiting for home.

The state-wide waiting list sits at 26,255.

In an attempt to fix the housing shortage, Dr Flegg recently wrote to state tenants with surplus rooms to flag the option of moving into a smaller space to free up rooms.

An amnesty was also used this year to entice people to fess up to living in state-owned housing without paying rent.

More than 2300 people came forward and the rent raised will be used to fund more housing.


Public Housing Waiting Lists

  • Robina 2637
  • Maroochydore 2155
  • Caboolture 1335
  • Ipswich 983
  • Maryborough 783
  • Toowoomba 716
  • Rockhampton 642
  • Bundaberg 617
  • Mackay 555
  • Gladstone 276
  • Emerald 161

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