HOUSING PLAN: Having become familiar with Rockhampton’s homeless problem through his work, mayoral candidate John Rewald has some plans to address it.
HOUSING PLAN: Having become familiar with Rockhampton’s homeless problem through his work, mayoral candidate John Rewald has some plans to address it.

Rewald’s plan for helping Rocky’s homeless

RECOGNISING the Rockhampton region’s struggle to address the problem of homelessness, mayoral candidate John Rewald has suggested a way forward.

The Morning Bulletin has previously explored the issue with AnglicareCQ chief executive Carol Godwin saying her organisation had supported or provided crisis housing for almost 560 CQ people in the first eight months of 2019, with an estimated 165 people across CQ who were sleeping rough.

AnglicareCQ CEO Carol Godwin said having a place to call home was a basic human right that many across CQ, both young and old, lived without.
AnglicareCQ CEO Carol Godwin said having a place to call home was a basic human right that many across CQ, both young and old, lived without.

Since the economic crisis created by the pandemic, the local homeless problem has worsened.

Mr Rewald believes lack of adequate social housing is unacceptable, particularly given a CQ charity is having to turn away homeless people.

“If elected mayor of Rockhampton, I commit to doing more for our local community,” Mr Rewald said.

“I commit to dedicating council resources to provide more low cost social housing for our most needy.”

From his community service and support background, the former Minister at the Oasis New Life Centre argued that practical steps were required from community leaders to solve problems, especially for the most needy in our city and region.

“All too often political figures talk about fixing issues without practical steps,” he said.

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John Rewald has become familiar with the region’s homeless problem through his work in the community.
John Rewald has become familiar with the region’s homeless problem through his work in the community.

Mr Rewald said he had already met with state government representatives to discuss the concept of providing multi-storey, high density low-cost housing in Rockhampton.

He said strong networks needed to be developed between all layers of government as well as the not-for-profit community housing sector.

According to Mr Rewald, Rockhampton Regional Council should be fully implementing the National Plan for Affordable Housing.

Practical steps council would implement if he was elected mayor included:

  • Offer rates concessions to community housing organisations.
  • Increase multi-storey, high density low-cost housing in Rockhampton City area.
  • Work with state and federal governments to secure funding for low-cost housing.
  • Develop local housing strategies to protect existing low-cost housing.
  • Support affordable housing in land use policies.
  • Encourage diverse housing forms suitable for people at different stages of their lives.
  • Examine ways to use the planning system to support affordable housing.
  • Identify land suitable for affordable housing.
  • Contribute land for affordable housing as an equity partner, or on long leases, in developments with community housing organisations.
  • Develop more efficient, transparent and equitable infrastructure funding mechanisms with the Commonwealth and state governments.