The only Christmas present young and vulnerable renters want this year is the right to make their house a home.
Christmas could mean a whole lot more this year for Queensland’s homeless and at risk young people with the support of the Queensland government’s proposed tenancy law reforms.
The Palaszczuk government’s courageous proposed amendments ensure fairness and could give young tenants the basic human right to make a house their home – safeguarding them against eviction without cause.
The Queensland Youth Housing Coalition (QYHC) knows all too well the many issues that young people without a stable home face. Education, mental & general health and wellbeing are impacted as well as the vital opportunity to join and become a contributing member of a community.
“Our homeless people are women and children escaping domestic and family violence, they are single people who fell that one pay cheque short of paying for their home due to job loss or other significant factors. They are also people who experience health issues. Most significantly, they are the many members of our community who live below the poverty line,” said Lorraine Dupree of the QYHC.
“If the average person understood how easy it was to become homeless, they’d be horrified. We absolutely need to make sure renting is fair for those who can obtain it to ensure they can maintain it and these proposed reforms will do that” she said.
“We have decades of research that tells us people who are safe, stable and connected and feel part of a community thrive, whilst those without those basic requirements understandably struggle. We didn’t need research to tell us that, it’s common sense.”
“There are many ways to improve the lives of young people who are homeless or at risk. The immediate issue of the moment is to support proposed tenancy reform in Queensland. That’s why the QHYC is committed to helping Queensland’s young renters to achieve a place to call home where they can strive towards their life goals and consider future careers and aspirations.”
Sebastian, a young rental tenant who has also experienced life as one Queensland’s homeless – of which 25 percent are young people, said he needed a home to find a job and needed a job to find a home.
“I finally found a rental property with lots of help to get it. Now I have a job. Any eviction without cause would send me back to homelessness. I couldn’t keep my job if that happened,” he said. “It’s Christmas. No one needs evictions with no reason. I’m glad that it’s being looked at now with these reforms. Please back them and be the spirit of Christmas.”
Ms Dupree has worked in the child, youth and family support sector for over 25 years. She’s also a parent: “I would hate my children to be in the situation I’ve seen Sebastian and hundreds of others experience – trying to find a home in a competitive rental environment.”
“Imagine trying to rent when you are alone without the financial and emotional back up we as parents offer to our children when they branch out. That’s the reality for many young people who have experienced homelessness. It’s also the experience of many families and single adults. It isn’t acceptable.
“The proposed rental reforms won’t fix the major social problems we have that cause homelessness but they will offer some security to tenants who have finally found a home.”
QYHC is a proud member of the Make Renting Fair in Queensland Alliance. This alliance includes the expertise of many peak organisations intent on ensuring fairness for Queenslanders who rent. Rental options for young people in Queensland are limited due to a variety of factors that include age, income and access issues. Ensuring that rental opportunities are available and fair is paramount in assisting young people towards living in safe, stable and secure housing. “When we think about our young people, it is important that we consider their specific protective and developmental needs” said Ms Dupree. “The fact we have so many homeless young people needs to weigh heavily on the hearts of all Queenslanders, just as all homeless people need to. Fair renting options are a minor means in assisting them to secure and maintain stable housing via rentals.”
The opportunity to give feedback on the proposed changes to the way renting is regulated in Queensland closes at 5pm on Friday, 28 December.
For further information contact:
Bloom PR & Communications
0408 410 930
0439 790 360