Tent Cities Expand in Rothwell, Deception Bay and Surrounding Areas

As makeshift campsites and tent cities proliferate across South East Queensland, the plight of homelessness intensifies, with Rothwell emerging as a focal point of the growing crisis, alongside Deception Bay,  Eagleby,  Shorncliffe, Beenleigh, Redcliffe and Woody Point. 

The situation has reached a critical point, with families, individuals, and even full-time workers finding themselves without stable accommodation. 

Rising Desperation Amidst a Housing Crunch

Among these, a family of eight with six children, now living in tents at Mckillop Park in Rothwell, recounted their struggles since losing their rental property in August 2023. The parents resorted to paying exorbitant fees for powered campsites and enduring lengthy commutes to ensure their children attended school. 

Reports indicate that some rough sleepers are declining crisis accommodation provided by homelessness services, citing concerns over safety and suitability.

The tent cities present unique challenges and concerns. Volunteers and support workers highlight the shifting demographics of homelessness, with single mothers, workers, veterans, and individuals facing housing insecurity seeking refuge in these makeshift shelters. 

However, instances of violence and insecurity underscore the precarious nature of life within these tent cities, amplifying the urgent need for comprehensive solutions to address Queensland’s housing crisis.

Response Amidst Lingering Challenges

Despite the Queensland government’s initiatives to tackle the crisis, such as promising the construction of 53,500 more social homes by 2046, the situation remains dire.

The Department of Housing, Local Government, Planning and Public Works has assisted over 500 individuals at risk of homelessness in inner-city Brisbane over the past year.  Housing Minister Meghan Scanlon has emphasised the government’s commitment to ramping up construction efforts, with nearly 1000 homes under construction and plans to exceed 2000 homes per year on average.

Housing Accomodation
Photo Credit: QLDGovt

Additionally, expressions of interest have been invited for a new streamlined approvals process aimed at fast-tracking affordable housing developments.

However, with more than 43,000 Queenslanders on the social housing waitlist, the scale of the problem continues to outpace available solutions. Statewide data highlights the magnitude of the housing crisis, with wait times for social housing stretching to an average of 28 months. 

Published 1-May-2024