Rental crisis: Heartbroken father and son forced into tent in city park

The 17-year-old said his dad has applied for social housing but they've been unable to find a home.

A teenage boy has shared the heartbreak of he and his dad having to live in a tent in a Brisbane park amid Queensland's escalating housing crisis.

Kailaeb Vescio-Stanley, 17, told Sunrise on Wednesday he's been struggling to sleep in the park, where he's been for two weeks — but rising rents and housing shortages means he has no other choice.

"Some nights I don't get enough sleep, and some nights I can," he told Sunrise host David Koch. "I see a lot of people doing it rough, and the majority of the people I see doing it rough in parks are actually teenagers."

Homeless teen Kailaeb Vescio-Stanley living in tent during the rental crisis.
Kailaeb Vescio-Stanley, 17, has been living in a tent with his dad because they can't afford a Queensland rental during the current crisis. Source: Sunrise

The homeless father and son have been without a house because it's now "too expensive to rent" a property in Brisbane, he said. But despite Mr Vescio-Stanley's dad applying for permanent social housing, they've been unable to secure a home.

"We'd just like a house or a roof over our heads," Mr Vescio-Stanley told Koch, admitting access to food, clothes and clean water has also been a struggle. "I also have to give a shout out to Emmanuel City Mission because without them, I wouldn't have food, clothes on my back or a shower every day," he said. The Brisbane organisation provides services to people experiencing homelessness.

Major reform to tackle Queensland's housing crisis

This week, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk introduced major reforms to tackle the state’s housing shortage, hoping to implement both short and long-term fixes. "Quick fixes" could include more hotel and motel space for rough sleepers, but ultimately it's about "rental assistance" Jen Williams, Queensland's Executive Director of the Property Council, told Koch.

"Affordability is a real problem with people being squeezed out of the market so we are hoping to bridge that gap for some people. And also for things like food as well, the basics, so people can afford to pay their rent as well too," she said on Wednesday.

Australia's housing shortage has led to an influx of 'tent cities', including in Pioneer Park in Fremantle, Western Australia (pictured). Source: AAP
Australia's housing shortage has led to the emergence of 'tent cities', including in Pioneer Park in Fremantle, Western Australia (pictured). Source: AAP

Queensland renters have had to deal with some of the country’s steepest price increases, and now, under a new state government proposal, they'll only see their rent raised once a year. Currently, landlords in the state are permitted to raise rents every six months. Premier Palaszczuk said renters need to be given "a fair go" to pay rent they can afford.

The change will bring Queensland into line with limits on the frequency of rent hikes in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, the ACT and SA. There's a six-month limit in WA and also in the Northern Territory, but only if increases are written into a lease agreement.

with AAP

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