Gladstone, Rocky, Mackay cop rent spike
RENTERS in regional Queensland are experiencing massive increases in rents due to the mining boom and Australians for Affordable Housing is calling on State election candidates to ensure bush communities do not become too expensive to live in.
New analysis from Australians for Affordable Housing using bond data show that Western Downs, Gladstone, Rockhampton and Mackay council areas are all seeing massive increases - of up to 46 per cent - in rents for both houses and flats in the 12 months from 2010 to 2011.
The biggest increases were for 2 bedroom flats in Gladstone (up 46 per cent) followed by 3 bedroom houses in Gladstone (up 44 per cent).
Two bedroom flats in Western Downs rose by 33 per cent and in Mackay by 15 per cent and Rockhampton by 14 per cent.
"Growth in mining is helping to support employment but rising rents have an impact on entire communities regardless of whether they are benefiting from the boom," said Sarah Toohey campaign manager for Australians for Affordable Housing.
"With over 9,000 renters in these towns in housing stress, rising rents only push struggling families further out, away from jobs.
"This leaves mining towns without essential service staff.
"Queensland needs communities that have affordable housing for everyone, yet none of the major parties have released election policies to fix the rental market.
"Australians for Affordable Housing is calling on both major parties to commit to increasing the supply of affordable rental housing.
"These are policies Queensland desperately needs if regional communities are to be places of opportunity and not simply where those with high paying mining jobs can afford to live."
Australians for Affordable Housing is a coalition of national housing, welfare and community sector organisations working to highlight the problem of housing affordability in Australia.
For more information visit www.housingstressed.org.au