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A Queensland family of four has narrowly avoiding homelessness after being evicted from their property amid the state’s surging rental crisis.

When Brad Ward’s employer lost his business, Mr Ward lost his job, and his family could no longer afford their Ipswich home, forced to live within a single hotel room.

Mr Ward said finding a new and affordable rental felt like an impossible feat, and without the help of a charity his family would have been forced onto the street.

A Queensland family of four has narrowly avoiding homelessness after being evicted from their property amid the state's surging rental crisis.
A Queensland family of four has narrowly avoiding homelessness after being evicted from their property amid the state’s surging rental crisis. (9News)

“If that didn’t happen, we wouldn’t be in the hotel, we can’t afford it, we’d be in the car or the tent,” Mr Ward said.

“It seems to be getting worse.”

Rental prices have been steadily increasing in Queensland and availability has dropped as more Australians relocate to the Sunshine state throughout the pandemic.

In the last 12 months, rent in Brisbane has increased by 14 per cent, by 12 per cent in Ipswich, 27 per cent on the Sunshine Coast and 29 per cent on the Gold Coast.

When Brad Ward's employer lost his business, Mr Ward lost his job, and his family could no longer afford their Ipswich home.
When Brad Ward’s employer lost his business, Mr Ward lost his job, and his family could no longer afford their Ipswich home. (9News)

Michael Balk, president of the not-for-profit Actors and Entertainers Benevolent Fund, said the number of assistance requests the charity had received had been shocking.

“We’ve never seen this level of need, ever,” he said

“On an average year we’re up about 900 per cent on people calling and needing help.”

Simon Gregory from the Salvation Army said even double-income families are struggling with low rental affordability.

“People we’ve never helped before coming to us for support because they’re unable to find a home.”

The family was forced to live within a single hotel room.
The family was forced to live within a single hotel room. (9News)

Liberty Page and her husband are in this category, both working full time, but rendered homeless when they couldn’t find a place to live.

“We just got priced out so quickly,” she said.

“Definitely people offering up to six months in advance, people offering extra money on the rental prices.”

After several failed applications, the couple felt forced to leave Queensland, moving to an affordable $300-a-week two-bedroom on Melbourne’s Flinders Street.

“Everyone’s moving from Melbourne. Melbourne must be pretty empty. (We) found a place within 24 hours,” Ms Page said.

Mr Ward said finding a new and affordable rental felt like an impossible feat.
Mr Ward said finding a new and affordable rental felt like an impossible feat. (9News)

“We never imagined with two kids it would be something we’d be able to afford.”

With tens of thousands more predicted to move to Queensland next year, Kate Colvin from homelessness support organisation Everybody’s Home is begging the government to invest in much-needed social housing.

“Because that puts rental properties into the market,” she said.

Source: 9News

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