Rent increases in Queensland would be capped, and no-grounds evictions and rental bidding would be banned under proposed laws.
Greens MP Amy McMahon has introduced a private member’s bill she says will ensure the 36 per cent of Queenslanders who rent have greater legal protections in a tight property market.
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland says rental vacancy rates are at their lowest level since 2012, and more than 47,000 people are on the public housing waiting list.
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Ms McMahon says the bill would only allow rent rises every 24 months, capped at inflation, and ban no-grounds evictions and rental bidding.
“This bill is a crucial step in making sure that every Queenslander has a roof over their heads,” she told reporters.
“Renters are facing record low vacancy rates, for people with Jobseeker and the (disability support pension) there are next to zero affordable properties, and rents are rising three times faster than wages.”
She said banning rental bidding would have a huge impact on prices and make the market more accessible for everyone.
The government had been considering rental reform a few years ago and she was hoping for support from Labor MPs for the bill, Ms McMahon said.
The bill has been referred to the parliamentary Community Support and Services Committee for examination.
The Greens MP said it was time for reforms that supported families and renters rather than just investors.
“We have a system where it’s easier for people to buy their sixth home than the first time, so if it does make it easier for people to buy their first home that will have the overall net improvement of making sure that every Queenslander has a roof over their heads,” Ms McMahon said.
She is also calling for more state government investment on public, social and affordable housing in the upcoming June budget.
The property sector, all political parties and social welfare groups have been calling for the Queensland government to sink cash into housing construction.
The government invested $1.6 billion in 2017 to build 5500 social and affordable homes.
In contrast with Queensland, the Victorian government last month earmarked $80 million to rapidly build almost 240 homes.
The Andrews government also allocated $5.3 billion to build 12,000 new social housing units across Victoria, boosting the state’s supply by 10 per cent, in their November budget.
Ms MacMahon wants an immediate investment of $4.1 billion to build 14,700 homes to help those most in need.
“The Greens have been calling for 1000s more public homes to make sure that we can bring down the social housing waiting list, and to be addressing the housing crisis so we have,” she said.
© AAP 2021