A Sunshine Coast family forced to live in a trailer is among thousands of people who have been hit hard by a rental market that experts say “is approaching the point of disaster.”

The latest annual report based on the Rental Affordability Index (RAI) reveals that there has been a significant drop in affordability in parts of Queensland, with the cost of rent skyrocketing.

RAI creator Adrian Pisarski said the new data showed a “pretty dire situation”.

“What we are doing is comparing the rents based on all bonds deposited over the past 12 months with the income of the tenant households,” he said.

“We have seen a real deterioration in rental affordability for any household under $ 80,000 per year.

“Much of Brisbane is unaffordable for households on less than $ 80,000 a year.

“The hot spots that we have really identified in this index are down on the Gold Coast and up on the Sunshine Coast.

“So pretty much everything between Tweed Heads and Tewantin is unaffordable for households on $ 80,000 a year, with the exception of a few areas towards Ipswich, or towards Caboolture, or parts of Logan.

“And if you think of a retired couple who are probably making $ 55,000 a year, there is absolutely no place in South East Queensland where we can find they can affordably rent, and that extends to many regional areas from Queensland to the coast. “

Mr Pisarski said a “perfect storm” was currently brewing in Queensland housing, putting significant pressure on tenants.

Conditions included soaring house prices, an overburdened social housing system and the COVID-19 pandemic that has seen thousands of people relocate across the state.

“There are a lot of people who are frustrated and cannot access property…

“And that’s crowding out low-income households that really need this affordable housing and it [adds] pressures throughout the system.

“The other factor is that investors who pay more and more for the properties they buy to put them on the rental market are looking for higher returns.”

Mr Pisarski said the other concern was the underinvestment in social housing at the lower end of the housing system.

“There are a lot of people in the rental market who really should be in social housing, paying a lot less of their meager income to buy housing, and that would take the pressure off the rental market.

“The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute estimates that there are at least 1.3 million Australian households in rental difficulty in Australia, that’s a lot of people.”

“You feel like a failure as a parent”

The Nield family are now considering moving to Rome.(ABC News: Jessica Stewart)

Rob and Emma Nield, their three young daughters and their two dogs currently live in a trailer in the backyard of their relatives’ house.

They were paying $ 500 a week in rent at Sippy Downs on the Sunshine Coast and were given two months notice to move out due to the owners selling the property.

Since then, they have not been able to find a new home.

“We asked if we could extend and stay an additional three weeks, until the children finished school on December 10th. [The real estate] I didn’t want a bar, ”Ms. Nield said.

“We got two months’ notice. I thought for sure we might have landed something by then, but you still have the stress of trying to find a spot and you have 30 to 40 other people. on the property and then you’re going to ask for them, and somebody’s going to say, “I’ll give you 12 months rent up front.”

“We can’t afford it. It’s just not a good situation.

“We’ve never had this problem before, we’ve rented our whole life.

“You have Christmas in four weeks and we can’t even put up a Christmas tree for the kids.”

Emma is a nurse and works shifts, while Rob is unable to work due to several health issues.

“You feel a failure as a parent,” Mr. Nield said.

“We will never be able to buy a house the way we wanted and the only option is to go, to go somewhere where it costs half the price.”

He said they were considering moving inland, possibly to Rome, to avoid high rental costs near the coast.

“It’s pretty hard on our sanity.”

“Close to disaster”

Houses in Brisbane Street
Most of Brisbane is unaffordable for households with $ 80,000 a year.(ABC News: Liz Pickering)

Mr Pisarski said the situation would only get worse, not better, without meaningful intervention from federal and state governments.

“I think we’ve been in a crisis for quite a long time and, you know, we’re approaching a disaster situation, especially for people like retirees and people on JobSeeker,” he said.

“And when you think that we are about to open the borders to immigration, both interstate and foreign, then the situation is not likely to improve, because there will be additional demand in the system by more of what’s already there and turns out to be too much. “

Several measures could be taken to alleviate the rental situation, according to Mr. Pisarski.

“I think the immediate things we can do is increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance and Income Support payments so that people with the lowest incomes have at least a chance to pay for their lives.

“Second, we need to rebuild the social housing system in Australia, which has been almost halved over the past 30 years.

“And we have to remove the pressure on house prices. We can do that through the tax system and various other mechanisms so that at every level of our housing system, we take the pressure off rather than exert pressure. pressures, as we have been doing for 30 years. “