New service to help Townsville renters
Federal Tanya Plibersek and Queensland Member for Townsville Mandy Johnstone today launched a new RentConnect service in Townsville.
The expansion of RentConnect – an existing Queensland Government program – is a joint initiative of the Australian and Queensland Governments under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.
Ms Plibersek said that assisting people in the private rental market will help to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness in Queensland.
“The Rudd Government is supporting the expansion of RentConnect into a number of regions in Queensland, including Townsville, through the National Partnership on Homelessness,” Ms Plibersek said.
“RentConnect can assist people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to get into the private rental market. Help can be provided with bonds and with the first two-weeks of rent.
“This is a great example of both levels of governments working together to help reduce homelessness in Townsville and across Queensland.”
Ms Johnstone said finding a home in the private rental market can be a complicated process.
“Finding a home to rent, understanding how the rental application process works and preparing a rental application is not only complex but also extremely competitive,” Ms Johnstone said.
“That’s why we developed RentConnect – to assist those people in our community who are struggling to find a home to rent.
“The RentConnect advisory service aims to better inform people on how to go about renting and provides flexible levels of assistance depending on each person’s circumstances.
“The RentConnect Officer based in the Housing Services office in Townsville will provide one-on-one assistance and assess what level of help each client needs.”
Ms Johnstone said that at the end of October there were 22,778 people registered for long-term social housing in Queensland.
“Applicants who have a high level of housing need will be housed in social housing. However, those with a lower housing need, who could sustain a tenancy in the private market, are unlikely to become social housing tenants.
“That’s where RentConnect comes in – the private rental market makes up 26 per cent of residential housing in Queensland so it makes great sense for us to help people find housing in this market.”
For more information about RentConnect, including a series of fact sheets on the process of renting a home, visit the Queensland Government Renting website (www.housing.qld.gov.au).