Housing and homelessness
Housing affordability and homelessness are important issues facing disadvantaged people in Queensland. Housing is a complex system of inter-connecting causes and effects.
The shortage of affordable private and social housing in Queensland makes it difficult for low-income households to secure affordable housing while meeting the rising cost of essential goods and services.
Access to affordable housing is the foundation on which Queenslanders build stable and productive lives. Secure housing positively influences health, education, employment, economic and social participation.
In the 2016 census there were 21,671 people experiencing homelessness in this state. Reasons that people find themselves in this situation include accommodation issues, financial difficulties, domestic violence, relationship issues, lack of support, discrimination, mental health problems and substance abuse issues.
Key organisations in Queensland’s housing and homelessness sector
Council to Homeless Persons Queensland (CHPQ) is a collaboration of homelessness services in the southern part of Queensland, based in Brisbane. They actively participate in National Council to Homeless Persons, and they are members of the peak body, Homelessness Australia. They aim to provide a collective voice for homelessness services and service users and to advocate for positive social change in the area of homelessness.
Q Shelter – Queensland Shelter Incorporated was founded over thirty years ago and woks to lead the sector in solutions that address the housing and homelessness needs of vulnerable Queenslanders. Q Shelter’s vision is for every Queenslander to have a home. Q Shelter works to build sector capacity and shape policy and programs with the goal of achieving housing and homelessness solutions.
Micah Projects provides a range of support and advocacy services to individuals and families according to their needs and capacity. They work to give people a voice and break down the barriers that exclude people from housing, healthcare, employment and meaningful connections.
Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) is a national research organisation, specialising in housing and urban research and policy. Through active engagement, AHURI’s work informs the policies and practices of governments and the housing and urban development industries, stimulating debate in the broader Australian community.
Tenants Queensland (formerly Tenants’ Union of Queensland) was established in 1986 and seeks to represent the concerns of all Queensland tenants who live in rental accommodation, including caravan park and boarding house residents.
Tenants Queensland fulfils an important role for Queensland tenants – providing specialist advice for tenants, advocating on behalf of tenants and securing improvements to Queensland’s residential tenancy laws.
Queensland Youth Housing Coalition is a state-wide coalition of organisations and individuals advocating for and with disadvantaged, marginalised and homeless young people and supporting the services that work with them.
Residential Tenants Authority (RTA) administers the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Act 2008 and is responsible to the Minister for Housing and Public Works. It is a self-funding statutory authority, which operates on income generated from interest earned on bonds held.
Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy looks after housing and homelessness services in Queensland. Its Housing and Homelessness Services play an important role in providing housing assistance to people who need it most. The Housing and Homeless Services support a social housing system that provides safe, secure, affordable and appropriate housing which improves the lives of Queenslanders.
The Housing and Homelessness Services deliver a range of housing assistance services through government-owned and managed social housing, and grant funding to registered providers of community and local government-managed social housing. They also work to help people access and sustain housing in the private rental market, through bond loans, rental grans, RentConnect, the National Rental Affordability Scheme, and the Tenant Advice and Advocacy Service.
Human Rights Applications in the Sector
QCOSS is partnering with the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy (DCHDE) and the housing and homelessness sector to build understanding of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld), increase confidence in working compatibly with the Act, and support the sector to use the Act for person-centred service delivery.
For resources to help you meet your human rights obligations in service delivery visit our human rights section.