News

Elderly in rent trap

Avis Jones with Muriel and Bill Smith outside their South Mackay units.
Avis Jones with Muriel and Bill Smith outside their South Mackay units. Nat Bromhead

ELDERLY citizens say it is high time the issue of affordable housing was made an election priority.

Bill and Muriel Smith, along with neighbour Avis Jones, are concerned about becoming homeless as Mackay's rental prices soar.

Their lease up in May, and South Mackay unit block for sale, the Smiths are worried.

"Rents in Mackay are from $330 to $1200 per week," Mrs Smith said.

"Even if we had to pay $250 per week, that'd be half our pension."

Mrs Smith said her landlord had been very understanding and kept the rent low to help the residents.

The solution, Mrs Smith said, was more affordable housing for pensioners.

Neighbour Avis Jones is in a similar position.

At 81, she wants to continue to live alone.

"There is no low-income housing around," she said.

"Older people are getting the raw end of the deal."

John Kerslake, the LNP candidate for Mackay, said residents found themselves in a Catch 22 situation.

"You can't get government housing until you can't afford your rent, or are homeless," he said.

Mr Kerslake said the problem was due to failed policies and lack of planning for growth in Mackay and the Bowen Basin.

Mackay battlers needed relief from the spiralling cost of living, he said.

"They fear they may be subject to a massive rental increase under new ownership," he said.

"Where do the battlers go?"

Muriel Smith summed it up by saying, "it doesn't pay to get old".

Topics:  affordable housing, queensland election 2012, rental properties


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Woman run over in driveway

Reported car v pedestrian at Nardoo Court, Redbank Plains.

Paramedics treat accident victim for chest injuries

WATCH: Dashcam footage shows motorway crash

FOOTAGE shared on Facebook site Dash Cam Owners Australia has revealed just why drivers need to take care on the roads over long weekends.

Ipswich crash caught on camera

Strange Politics: Peter Dutton treats refugees like rubbish

Strange Politics: Immigration Minister Peter Dutton makes an awful neighbour.

My mad old bin-phobic neighbour's kindred spirit in Peter Dutton

Latest deals and offers

Government follows Opposition’s lead over Ipswich Mwy

THE Federal Government has finally come to the party and stumped up cash for the Ipswich Motorway upgrade.

Woman run over in driveway

Reported car v pedestrian at Nardoo Court, Redbank Plains.

Paramedics treat accident victim for chest injuries

WATCH: Dashcam footage shows motorway crash

FOOTAGE shared on Facebook site Dash Cam Owners Australia has revealed just why drivers need to take care on the roads over long weekends.

Ipswich crash caught on camera

Strange Politics: Peter Dutton treats refugees like rubbish

Strange Politics: Immigration Minister Peter Dutton makes an awful neighbour.

My mad old bin-phobic neighbour's kindred spirit in Peter Dutton

WATCH: Man charged after allegedly reaching 182kmh

Polair 2 has captured footage of a man allegedly reaching speeds of 182kmh on Ipswich Motorway.

Man charged for dangerous driving on long weekend

Man stabbed in back at Bellbird Park

A man was stabbed in the back on Saturday afternoon during an altercation at an address in Bellbird Park

Man stabbed during incident at Bellbird Park

Demand for acreage lots pushes up property prices

Property values in Cooroy have increased 25%

Property values jump in Cooroy and Peachester.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances