New housing support hub and advisory group to help older Queensland women access housing

Queensland Government media release

The Queensland Government is investing almost $14 million to build new homes and deliver specialised housing support services to older women, ensuring they have the security and stability of a home.

Minister for Communities and Housing Leeanne Enoch announced the package of support including $8 million to build new homes designed for and by older women and $5.94 million to establish a specialised housing support hub, as part of the Queensland Government’s Housing Outcomes for Older Women Initiative.

“The Queensland Government is committed to delivering social and affordable housing that meets the needs of older Queensland women. That means building more homes and backing this in with practical support for older women in need of housing certainty.

“Older women are the fastest growing group to experience homelessness in Australia and our unprecedented investment in social and affordable housing will shift the dial to ensure the most vulnerable cohorts across our communities have the rights supports in place.

“The Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy (DCHDE) has been working with a sponsor group comprising members from the Housing Older Women (HOW) Movement, Sharing with Friends and QShelter to co-design a package of support which is informed by women with lived experience,” Ms Enoch said.

The specialist services hub will be a single-entry point that connects women to housing, homelessness, renting, health, and financial support services.

“We want to help women receive early intervention and assistance to avoid homelessness, navigate the service system and access coordinated housing and support options.

“The hub is the first of its kind in Queensland and signals a new era in the provision of information and support services to better meet the needs of at-risk older Queensland women.”

Trained staff, and volunteers who have shared experiences, will be available to provide advice and advocacy and guide women towards the specific services they need.

By delivering tailored housing solutions for older women, the Queensland Government is strengthening its commitment to safe, secure, and affordable housing.

The Housing Outcomes for Older Women Initiative is being delivered in partnership with the Housing Older Women Movement, Sharing with Friends and QShelter.

Linda Hahn, founding member of the Housing Older Women Movement said they welcome the Government’s announcement to prioritise action to address the urgent and growing needs of Older Women for safe, secure, and affordable housing and to enable women to age in place in their communities.

“We look forward to continuing our work together to achieve this outcome,” Ms Hahn said.

Fiona Caniglia, Executive Director, Q Shelter said the delivery of specialist services and innovative housing responses for older women will ensure that an increasing number of older women are able to live in their forever home.

“We know women over the age of 55 are the fastest growing cohort of homeless people and there has been a 31% increase in this group between 2011 and 2016.

“We also know that 44% of single women in Australia over 45 are on low and medium incomes, don’t own their own home and are renting,” Ms Caniglia said.

Ms Enoch said the Queensland Government will also establish an advisory group consisting of older women with lived experience of homelessness and key stakeholders including the Housing Older Women Movement, QShelter and Sharing with Friends.

The advisory group will collaborate with and advise government and non-government partners, identify, and prioritise key issues, co-design housing initiatives and facilitate improved housing outcomes for older women.

“The advisory group will be a voice for older women, their needs and solutions that work,” Minister Enoch said.

More information available here.