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


Stay Connected

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

Hospital emergency: Thousands clog ED with minor issues

EMERGENCY CALL: Ipswich Hospital's emergency department has been swamped in the past 12 months by people presenting with very minor issues.

Residents need to stop presenting with only minor treatment issues

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Car collides with police vehicle while on the run

The Queensland Police Polair 2 helicopter, which will begin operations from July 5, 2014.

Polair has been called in again after a driver evaded police.

Local Partners

More than 9000 Queensland kids in foster care

The Department of Communities and Child Safety suspended or cancelled the permits of 30 carers last year while it substantiated 144 cases of harm to children.

Strike to cause stoppages at airports, cruise ships

Extensive rolling stoppages to start today

Hospital emergency: Thousands clog ED with minor issues

EMERGENCY CALL: Ipswich Hospital's emergency department has been swamped in the past 12 months by people presenting with very minor issues.

Residents need to stop presenting with only minor treatment issues

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Car collides with police vehicle while on the run

The Queensland Police Polair 2 helicopter, which will begin operations from July 5, 2014.

Polair has been called in again after a driver evaded police.

Classic cars sold at Queensland Auto Museum auction

The Queensland Auto Museum auctioned off its collection of cars.

Police appeal for witnesses to fatal motorcycle crash

Scene of a fatality where male motorcycle rider lost his life on Augusta Parkway at Brookwater.Photo: Contributed

Police have ruled out a white ute from their investigations.

PHOTOS: Marty's graveyard shift in memory of daughters, wife

RESTING PLACE: Martin Kelly at the grave site of two of his daughters, Gayle and Lynne, and his wife Elva.

90-year-old keeping up family's legacy but needs help

Classic car auction draws buyers from US, Dubai

"He wants everyone to enjoy the cars, the collection got too big'

Marilyn Manson wants a 'nice' girl

Marilyn Manson wants a girl who understands both of his identities

Angelina turns to Depp for consolation after divorce

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie with their six children

Angelina Jolie is reportedly being consoled by Johnny Depp

Rockhampton dancer en pointe for European stages

CENTRE STAGE: Anastasia Lewis has moved from Rockhampton to Sydney to study classical ballet.

Rocky dancer believes competitions are the perfect preparation

Conner's food distraction leads to elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Conner Bethune.

HUNGER gets to castaway as Australian Survivor's tribes merge.

Bonus point gets Dan and Carleen over the line on The Block

Dan and Carleen in their winning living and dining rooms in a scene from The Block.

BABY boomers win living and dining week as show hits halfway mark.

Olivia Wilde having a girl

Olivia Wilde revealed she is expecting a baby girl.

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Rocky proves prime real estate in latest REIQ report

Kas Woch sold this Wood St home in Depot Hill for $107,000 in August.

A new investor's market as Rocky house prices hit lowest in state