• BRISBANE, AAP – More than 47,000 people are on the waiting list for housing in Queensland, with community groups urging the state government to take immediate action.Queensland Council of Social Services chief executive Aimee McVeigh says 47,036 people are on the state’s social housing register, a 70 per cent increase in just three years.

    “If the 47,036 people on the register were to form a town, it would be the fifth largest in the state – bigger than Gladstone, Maryborough or Gympie,” she said in a statement.

    QCOSS and 12 community groups including Vinnies Qld, Mission Australia, Micah Projects and Kyabra are calling on the state to invest $4.1 billion to build 14,700 new homes.

    The 13 groups will put up billboards in the state’s regional centres, and advertisements in 24 Brisbane shopping centres, in newspapers and on social media to highlight the lack of housing.

    Ms McVeigh said rapid investment was vital because many homeless people in the state were women who had escaped domestic violence.

    “We have women escaping violence, children, people with disability and many other Queenslanders who desperately need a place to call home,” she said.

    Ms McVeigh said housing was the responsibility of all levels of government.

    She called on the Commonwealth to match the state funding and continue a rental investment incentive scheme when they phase out the National Rental Affordability Scheme.

    The call to action comes after Australian house prices grew at their fastest monthly pace in 32 years, with Brisbane up 2.4 per cent in March, or 6.8 per cent in the year.

    Renewed strength in house prices, buoyed by record low interest rates, has been raising concerns over housing affordability.

    Everybody’s Home – a national campaign to end homelessness – warned spiralling prices would hit both aspiring buyers and renters, and said an expansion of social and affordable housing was badly needed.

    “More social housing would better balance the housing market, creating more options for those who can’t participate in the boom,” national spokeswoman Kate Colvin said this month.

    “Higher house prices fuelled by cheap money will lead to increased costs in the rental market, worsening affordability.”

    Last week, the Victorian government earmarked $80 million to rapidly build almost 240 homes across the state.

    The Andrews government also allocated $5.3 billion to build 12,000 new social housing units across Victoria, boosting the state’s supply by 10 per cent, in their November budget.