IMMIGRANTS are being left on the streets, domestic violence victims ignored, and pensioners being forced to live in one-room “shoe boxes”.
They’re just some of the consequences of a current housing crisis in Logan, a local forum has heard.
Queensland Community Alliance (QCA) has launched a listening campaign to address Logan’s record low housing availability, as more locals fear becoming homeless.
At its forum earlier this month, 27 community leaders gathered at the Anglican Parish of Logan to share stories about housing pressures– from lack of housing stock, to rapidly increasing rent and house prices.
Islamic Women’s Association Australia Settlement Coordinator Sohair Elgabir, who attended the event, says she spends most of her time trying to find accommodation for her clients.
“Housing is really a major problem we are facing with our new arrivals.
“A lot of our clients can’t get housing because of their low income and they just can’t compete.
“Some of them will be in the street, they’ll be homeless as they have very limited budgets and this has a huge effect on their mental health.”
Mrs Elgabir says one of her clients, who is a victim of domestic violence, had to return to Iraq to stay with relatives after she couldn’t find secure housing in Logan.
“We applied for the department of housing and she was approved for governmental housing but she is on a waiting list for two years.”
Member of St Marks Anglican Parish and 73-year-old pensioner Carol Sharpe also spoke at the event and says she was lucky to find a rental in Talbarra after her Eagleby landlord chose to sell.
“Every place I went to look at was between $250 and $300 a week and they were not much bigger than a shoebox, they were all very small.
“I went to look at a place near Loganlea railway station, there must have been anywhere between 50 and 100 people at that house and it was pouring rain.
“There was no chance they were going to give it to a single person.”
Miss Sharpe, who retired from her job as a disability worker in 2013, says she will be out of money in another year or two if things don’t change.
“I’m currently paying over $300 a week for rent and $25 towards maintenance, so it leaves me with about $200 a week to pay for food, petrol, electricity, car insurance, internet and everything else.
“I hardly have any savings left so I have to be very careful about what I spend my money on because I don’t know how long I’ve got,” she said.
The rental availability in Logan is currently at a record low at just 0.7 per cent.
Logan Housing Listening Launch chair Kirsty Petersen says the aim of the campaign is to reach a critical mass of 100 stories to properly understand the issues facing the people of Logan.
“There’s lots of end opportunities but it’s about doing the listening and putting together strategies and proposals based on that,” she said.
“What I took away from the event is that housing in Logan isn’t just about affordability, problems exist across the spectrum– from rentals but there’s also a huge lack of diversity in housing.
“If you’re a single parent with a young child it’s hard to find a home because we have lots of four bedroom, two bathroom houses in Logan and that doesn’t suit everybody.
“The housing crisis is impacting everybody one way or another.”
Inspire Realty CEO Colin Lee says a high demand from interstate renters and buyers is what’s causing soaring prices and vacancy issues in the area.
“Considering the property prices in Sydney and Melbourne, Logan is still relatively affordable for a lot of people from other states.
“For most parts of the Logan area I’m already seeing a massive demand for properties and invariably that drives up the prices.”
QCA will listen to an additional 112 stories until June 8 in an effort to tackle the housing problem in Logan.