Specialist homelessness services
Current increased demand for homelessness assistance requires enhanced funding to Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS). This immediate response is essential to ensure that all people needing assistance can access services while also helping to ensure reasonable demands on the workforce.
Over time, the introduction of improved prevention including investment in tenancy sustainment support could help reduce the need for further investment in immediate responses.
It should be noted that some regions have few if any Specialist Homelessness Services. People who are homeless or at risk of homelessness are being pushed from higher amenity areas. Needs-based planning is required to assess the need for specialist homelessness services in additional locations.
The funding future of Specialist Homelessness Services is yet to be negotiated. In an environment of considerable unmet need, providing certainty about funding and a pathway for co-designing an effective system is essential to productivity, sustainability of the workforce, and effectiveness of delivery.
Queensland needs more supportive housing where subsidised homes are available with flexible, voluntary support. Supportive housing is a critical element in a successful housing and homelessness system in response to the needs of people who have multiple vulnerabilities and face significant barriers to sustaining housing.
Q Shelter proposes a significant capital funding program for supportive housing in the runway to Brisbane 2032. Embedding an expanded program of supporting housing initiatives in key population centres.
- Increase SHS funding by 25% in response to additional demands for assistance.
- Ensure distribution of funding to additional areas where need is presenting and where SHS funded services are few or non-existent.
- Ensure funded services have funding certainty by end of March to help retain the workforce and engage services early in 2024 in co-design of regional service systems and responses.
- Commit $600 million in capital funding for new supportive housing initiatives in key population hot spots such as Cairns, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Logan, Moreton, Sunshine Coast and Townsville. Consider a combination of single sites, mixed-use sites, and scattered sites.
- Build capacity of broader system to be housing and homelessness literate (such as local government, mental health sector, alcohol, and other drug sector).
- Expand the Service Integration Initiative to more regions including Roma, Mt Isa, South Burnett, Rockhampton, and Gladstone.