Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Common Ground Homelessness Project Underway In South Brisbane

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Karen Struthers MP, Queensland Minister for Housing

An innovative project to help homeless people move from street to home, first developed in New York City, is now underway in inner-city Brisbane.

Federal  Tanya Plibersek and Queensland Minister for Housing Karen Struthers today inspected the Hope Street site in South Brisbane that will be transformed into a home for around 150 rough sleepers in Brisbane.

Ms Plibersek said the development would be known as the Brisbane Supportive Housing Initiative and tenants would have access to on-site support offered by not-for-profit organisation Micah Projects.

The Rudd Government will provide over $40 million in capital funding to build the new facility. In addition $4.38 million has been allocated over four years for on-site support services as well as capital funding.

“The Australian and Queensland Governments are getting on with the job of tackling homelessness and delivering projects like this one here today,” Ms Plibersek said.

“Many people find themselves on the street as a result of poverty, family breakdown, domestic violence, mental illness or drug and alcohol addiction.

“Common Ground goes further than offering a roof over people’s heads by providing the kind of long term support required to break the cycle of homelessness.”

Ms Struthers said that the Bligh Government was working with Grocon, which successfully delivered the Melbourne ‘Common Ground’ building, to produce a concept that fits the location.

“This project will not be your typical homeless shelter and it will not look like one either,” Ms Struthers said.

“The building will be developed in line with Brisbane City Council’s vision for the area and it will be a positive addition to the area with street-level retail areas and 24-hour concierge-style security.

“This project will help the Bligh Government continue to create jobs for Queenslanders with some 300 construction jobs needed to finish the development.”

Ms Struthers said the Queensland capital was the latest in a growing list of cities to embrace the Common Ground model for securing long term, supported accommodation for homeless people.

“This initiative is based on the internationally successful Common Ground supportive housing model, originally developed in the 1990s to assist homeless people in New York.

“It’s a proven model that recognises homeless people need a stable and affordable home and an integrated support network to tackle the issues that led them to homelessness.

“The Australian and Queensland Governments take housing affordability very seriously.

“Together we rolling out more than 4,000 new social housing dwellings across Queensland, and have offered incentives for more than 2,400 new affordable rental homes under the National Rental Affordability Scheme,” Ms Struthers said.

The Rudd Government is spending $4.9 billion over four years to address homelessness, with an additional $400 million from the States and Territories.