Rental crisis Qld: Premier ‘seriously considering’ introducing rental price cap

A price cap is another word for rent control and rent control always leads to a REDUCTION in housing availability. Is that what the government wants? Queensland had rent control decades back but had to abandon it to ease the shortages it created. That reducing the price reduces the supply is one of the iron laws of economics. No goverment can repeal it. It does however lead to abuses, such as large bonds, "key money" and shorter term rentals. And it is the poor who will suffer from such abuses

Annastacia Palaszczuk revealed the state government is “very seriously” considering introducing a price cap on private rentals after a new report laid bare the scale of Queensland’s housing crisis.

The Premier also confirmed the government is in discussions to buy thousands of homes that will lose funding from the winding back of a federal support scheme.

Ms Palaszczuk said she was “very concerned” about the crisis in Queensland after it was revealed 150,000 households were in critical housing stress and the rate of homelessness soared 22 per cent since 2017.

She said sharp increases in rents had squeezed Queensland families, leading to the government considering reforms to cap rental prices which she said will be discussed at the Housing Summit roundtable meeting next week.

“This is a big issue for families,” Ms Palaszczuk said. “They are constantly being faced with huge increases in rent and this is putting a lot of pressure on families.

“We’re looking very seriously at how a rental cap can be put in place.”

Before leaving office, the Morrison government began to wind back the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) but Ms Palaszczuk said she was in discussions with Treasurer Cameron Dick and Deputy Premier Steven Miles about acquiring those homes to continue support.

“There are over 5000 properties as part of that scheme – Queensland stands ready to purchase those houses,” Ms Palaszczuk said on Monday morning.

“What we do know is that we do need additional support from the federal government and where the federal government is stepping out, we are stepping up.”

Mr Miles said NRAS was a time-limited plan to subsidise rent for 5000 properties with the looming end of the support approaching in the next couple of years.

“So they will go into the general rental market – the only way to avoid that is by stepping in with support of social housing providers and purchasing them, ensuring that they remain within the social housing stock,” the Deputy Premier said.

“We are, as the premier said, discussing with those social housing providers exactly how we can do that.”

St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland chief executive Kevin Mercer said they had resorted to paying people’s car registrations.

“Sometimes the best response we can provide is to pay someone’s car registration so they can live and sleep in it ... to get them through as a temporary solution,” he said.

Mr Mercer said homeless services had been full for a long time.

“The designated specialist homeless services are designed to be short-term accommodation,” he said.

“We’ve got people that have been in our services for 18 months, almost two years, because there’s nowhere for them to go. And we’re not going to put them out on the street.”


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