Some population groups in Queensland are particularly impacted by homelessness and unmet housing need. Queensland’s policy and investment settings require specific responses to address these unmet needs.
Young people are extremely disadvantaged in the housing market because their incomes are low. Young people on income support cannot access affordable housing products or the private rental market without support and financial subsidies.
Young people aged between 12 and 18 are particularly disadvantaged and more housing solutions are needed that reflect the unique support needs of young people as well as the need for homes that are accessible, safe, and affordable.
Young people are significantly represented among Australia’s homeless population. Twenty-three per cent of all homeless people enumerated in Australia in 2021 were aged between 12 and 24.
Solutions need to span intensively supported home environments for unaccompanied young people, rental subsidies, targets for delivering social and affordable housing responding to the needs of young people and an expansion of Foyers as an integrated response to preventing homelessness and building engagement with education and training.
- Develop a policy for housing unaccompanied 12–15-year-old young people including:
- Improved partnerships and collaboration between Child Protection, Education, Employment, Training, Health, and Housing to achieve sustainable outcomes and the prevention of homelessness
- Funding for an expansion of Ruby’s Model
- Include clear KPIs across portfolios inclusive of effective exit plans for all young people
- Have a specific protocol responding to young people aged from 12-15 years who are unaccompanied.
- Fund additional therapeutic residential housing models for young people in Queensland.
- Fund specific rental subsidies for young people improving access to community housing and the private rental market.$28 million per annum
- Fund six additional Youth Foyers in Queensland.$120 million capital funding and $120 million over ten years operational funding
- Set targets to deliver social and affordable housing options for young people as part of the Queensland Housing Investment Growth Initiative (QHIGI) and all future capital and subsidy programs (20%).
Older people face housing market challenges including a lack of affordability where people are confined to the private rental market. Older women have been identified as the fastest growing group of people among Australia’s homeless population. Older women face significant structural barriers to home ownership and have lower household wealth driven by wage disparities, time outside of the workforce, relationship status, and vulnerability to domestic and family violence.
Older age can be a time of vulnerability and increasing health concerns. Housing systems, aged care systems, the health system and income support arrangements are all complex and can be challenging to navigate. The connections between state government and federal government services are essential to wellbeing. Housing is the most important underpinning resource for the delivery of a range of community-based support.
- Enhance the capability and capacity of the service system:
- Provide face-to-face services wherever possible
- Raise awareness and capability to respond to older people in homelessness hubs, Housing Service Centres, and the wider service system
- Improve system and sector ability to identify and respond to evidence of financial abuse of older people
- Strengthen access to refuges and improve universal accessibility of refuges
- Strengthen training on tenant rights and for property and tenancy managers on the needs of older people
- Establish a high-quality engagement mechanism to provide advice from older people on system improvements and policy reforms
- Improve co-design approaches to policy, programs, and service system improvements
- Develop shared equity products suitable for older people and that can be targeted earlier in life to prevent homelessness in older age.
- Provide innovation funding for co-housing models.
- Monitor data on needs and supply of housing to report on scale of housing responses for older people.
Housing solutions responding to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are significantly over-represented among Queensland’s homeless population and have enduring and unmet housing
- Lack of access to safe, secure, and appropriate homes throughout regional Queensland
- Lower levels of home ownership and higher dependency on the private rental market
- Ageing community housing stock that needs upgrades
- Insufficient revenue from housing provision to address community needs.
Q Shelter works closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Queensland to support solutions to housing supply and sector capacity consistent with our core strategic outcomes. As such, Q Shelter supports the following recommendations.
- Establish Queensland First Nations Housing Future Fund to invest in funding Queensland ICHOs (Indigenous Community Housing Organisations) housing supply with links to local jobs.
- Provide operational funding to ICHOs for unmet operating costs including the costs of salaries, compliance, rates, maintenance and repairs, insurance, and other rising costs such as utilities.
- Establish a specific capital funding program for ICHOs and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Local Governments to support growth projects, reduce overcrowding and to fund maintenance and upgrades.
- Establish an ICHO Council Rates payment scheme to improve the financial viability of ICHOs.
- Invest in homelessness prevention and tenancy sustainment through rental subsidies and additional support for people at risk of losing their tenancy.
- Extend funding for Housing Queensland as a specialist housing peak organisation to provide certainty and longevity linked to the delivery of the Queensland Housing Strategy.
- Increase targeted capacity building funding for ICHOs through ATSIHQ to support participation in growth activities.
People living with disability
People living with disability experience considerable barriers to securing accessible and affordable housing in locations of their choice. While NDIS is an important system feature, the wider housing and support system needs to be responsive to and designed for people living with disability to ensure access and sustained support to find, get, and keep housing.
- Strengthen workforce capability in responding to the needs of people living with disability through capability of all roles and some specialist roles.
- Develop a housing co-design framework involving the Queensland State Government, community housing providers and people with lived experience of disability.
- Resource participation and input to the review of residential services facilities.
- Implement individual person-centred housing planning tools.
- Partner REIQ and REA Group to improve disability accessibility information about properties for sale or rent.
- Monitor the delivery of housing through growth activities that is accessible and appropriate for people living with disability.
- Progress full implementation of the National Construction Code new liveable housing design requirements for new properties and modify existing and ageing social housing stock as well.
People experiencing hoarding and squalor
Hoarding and squalor is caused by complex challenges relating to mental health, trauma, and disability. It severely impacts the sustainability of housing and can generate significant costs in providing support to people who are impacted.
Develop and fund a specialised program responding to hoarding and squalor as part of a tenancy sustainment response across all tenures. Include specialised roles, wider system support, and enablement and brokerage.
Develop guidelines on assessing and responding to hoarding and squalor for housing and support providers.
Provide ongoing training regarding hoarding and squalor responses for diverse human services.
Fund a peer recovery group and train peer support workers as part of the service system.
Make optimal use of Service Integration Groups to offer integrated responses to situations where there is hoarding and squalor. Use Place-based Response Teams as a point of escalation.
Build community understanding through public education of the causes, impacts and solutions to hoarding and squalor.