Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

$71.5 million to stem homelessness in Queensland

Joint Media Release with:

  • Robert Schwarten, Queensland Minister for Housing

Tanya Plibersek joined Queensland Housing Minister Robert Schwarten today to announce a new $71.5 million initiative to support Queenslanders experiencing homelessness.

“The Federal Government will provide $35.7 million to the Queensland Government over five years under the program, which will help fund the purchase of new homes for the homeless,” Ms Plibersek said.

“These properties will provide much needed housing and associated support for people experiencing homelessness in areas where demand for homeless services is greatest.”

Minister Schwarten said A Place to Call Home had already begun housing, and providing tenancy and other support services, to Queensland families at risk of homelessness.

“The Queensland Government has committed $35.7 million for A Place to Call Home, matching Commonwealth funding and providing improved stability to Queenslanders at risk of homelessness,” he said.

A Place to Call Home is designed to stop people cycling in and out of homelessness, by removing the need to relocate to another property once intensive support is no longer required.

“It recognises that people need safe, appropriate and stable housing – as well as coordinated help across the spectrum of social support services – as a foundation for establishing family and work life within a community.

“The Queensland Government, through the Department of Housing, has already assisted five clients under this initiative into long-term social housing, and further housing allocations are expected to be made soon.”

The funding will provide 143 new dwellings over five years.

A Place to Call Home will give individuals and families who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, a dwelling and up to 12 months’ support – for example with parenting, relationship or financial management difficulties – through existing programs of the Queensland departments of Communities and Child Safety.

Once support is no longer required, the dwelling and tenancy will be transferred to the Department of Housing’s pool of social rental housing for ongoing management, using supportive tenancy management practices.

A Place to Call Home will assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – as a minimum, in proportion to their representation in the wider population experiencing homelessness.

In the first two years, referrals to the initiative and support services will be provided by the Department of Child Safety, in conjunction with their funded Family Intervention Services, and the Department of Communities, through their funded Referral for Active Intervention Services.

“This combined response will give individuals and families who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, a better chance at longer-term security,” Mr Schwarten said.

Today’s announcement is in addition to the $800 million of new funding for homelessness committed by the Commonwealth, States and Territories at the 29 November 2008 Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting.

It forms part of an almost $10 billion package for housing agreed by COAG, including the new National Affordable Housing Agreement and National Partnership agreements on homelessness, social housing and remote Indigenous housing.