Thursday, August 24, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
The housing crisis is something we have been covering fairly regularly for the past few years and a subject I feel passionate about including in the paper.
It seems like we have all either directly experienced or know someone who has been directly impacted by the issue.
This week I met a young 17-year-old couple who have a seven-month-old baby daughter.
Despite having a child so young, these two individuals are determined to create a good life for their little family.
And while some youth get a bad rap for doing nothing to help themselves, simply waiting for a hand-out instead, these two are the opposite.
They are willing to do the hard work, they have savings, they just needed someone to give them the opportunity.
Incredibly, one local family did, and you can read the full story on page 10.
There are many reasons for the current housing crisis – a sudden increase in population creating a stock shortage, investors choosing to sell instead of rent, rental prices rising due to demand – but one of the main issues, in my opinion, is the amount of short-term accommodation we have in the area.
As Councillor Clive Bauman stated in Wednesday’s Council meeting – “there are no three-bedroom houses for rent in Cannonvale but there are 116 short term rentals with three bedrooms”.
It seems like housing for our community has been gradually replaced by holiday accommodation and while families are looking for homes, others are sitting vacant until the next holiday booking comes along.
One in three people in the Whitsundays work in tourism and, if we do not have homes for our workers, we may soon have no hospitality staff to serve our visitors.
Quote of the Week: “Be realistic: Plan for a miracle” (Osho)