Government response to homeless inadequate

“There are currently 96 families on the Dept of Housing register waiting for 3 bedroom housing in the Acacia Ridge area. 32 of these families have been assessed as having a very high need for housing.” – Senior Housing Officer in an affidavit to evict a tenant who was $200 behind in his rent because of wages theft by his employer. In response the dept upped his rent to market rates claiming his employer did not provide a declaration of income form.

Extrapolated to Greater Brisbane this means that there are 5,000 families waiting for accomodation with 1,500 in desperate need. Where are they? Sleeping rough, overcrowded in houses with family and friends, couch surfing, kids on the streets, etc. I received the following call from councillor for the Gabba ward, Jonathan Sri:

“Please join us at 9am on Saturday, 17 November for a short sharp protest to remind the State Government that we don’t support fencing homeless people out of public spaces, and that the government needs to urgently address the chronic shortage of public housing in Queensland.

The government is spending $120,000 to landscape the area under the Kurilpa Bridge to discourage homeless people from sleeping there. Last Monday, we dismantled the temporary fencing in an act of defiance. Now that the government has installed it again we want to send a louder, clearer message that if they have money to support and subsidise mega-casinos, horse races, prisons and coal mines, then there’s no legitimate reason that they can’t find more money for public housing.

First Nations people have been camping at Kurilpa for generations. For the State Government to aggressively control and police the presence of marginalised people in these public spaces while continuing to deny Aboriginal sovereignty is particularly outrageous, and needs to be resisted. Please bring adjustable wrenches if you have them.

Banner image is of one of the 82 houses that were demolished by local government to put in a 6 lane road under the pretext that it will stop traffic congestion.”

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