HIGH PRICE: Keith Haughton stands in front of his Anglicare rental unit, which is cheaper than regular Rockhampton rent.
HIGH PRICE: Keith Haughton stands in front of his Anglicare rental unit, which is cheaper than regular Rockhampton rent. Zhanae Conway-Dodd

High prices cause rental nightmare in Rockhampton

KEITH Haughton, 77 had no other option but to move into town when his partner of 25 years, Dorothy fell ill.

However, he underestimated how much Rockhampton rent would set him back.

Living in Marlborough at the time the pair had to make the move to Rocky but couldn't find a suitable house which was disability and animal friendly.

So Keith applied for housing through the Department of Housing and Public Works, but with Dorothy needing wheelchair access and both of them on the age pension finding an affordable option proved difficult.

That's when the pair were referred to AnglicareCQ to help and shortly after they were offered a disability-accessible unit owned by the company.

Keith said if he hadn't found the Anglicare unit he would have struggled to pay his rent in a normal Rockhampton house.

"As soon as we walked in, we knew this was it," Keith said.

"They (Anglicare) work out the rent so it is a percentage of what the local rent is and it comes out of your pay… I don't want to live anywhere else, this does me."

Keith's words come shortly after Anglicare's 2016 Rental Affordability Snapshot, launched today. While rental ability has improved in Central Queensland since this time last year people are still facing a critical shortage of suitable and affordable housing.

This year's snapshot showed more affordable rentals were available than in April 2015.This can be attributed to the downturn in the local mining sector, which has seen rental prices ease across the region and particularly in Emerald and Gladstone.

AnglicareCQ CEO, Suzie Christensen says we must be cautious of treating easing rental prices as a positive change when they're a sign of a downturn in an important local industry.

"Dropping rents can be a sign of more competition for affordably-priced rentals and is also indicative of the exodus of transient workers in the Gladstone and Emerald areas," Ms Christensen said.

However she said AnglicareCQ supported the calls to grow the supply of social and community housing, creating more affordable housing in the communities where it's needed.



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