More support will be available to Queenslanders who are struggling to find a home in the private rental market or who can’t afford their rent, with a funding boost totalling $21.7 million from the Palaszczuk Government.
Minister for Communities and Housing Leeanne Enoch said this was part of the government’s ongoing commitment to reduce the risk of homelessness and was one of the priorities identified during the recent Housing Summit.
“We know many individuals and families are doing it tough right now due to cost-of-living pressures, low vacancy rates in the private rental market and higher rents,” Ms Enoch said.
“This funding is targeted at helping people experiencing rental stress to remain in their home by making the current range of products and services available to more households and by boosting more intensive support for vulnerable Queenslanders experiencing housing stress.
“There are a wide range of products, services and supports that can help people, depending on their circumstances, and we want as many Queenslanders as possible to have access to this help when they need it.”
In 2021-22, almost 200,000 forms of housing assistance were provided to Queensland households or individuals, including emergency housing, social housing, private market assistance and homelessness services.
Minister Enoch said $10 million would expand the government’s private rental assistance products and services to help more people who are currently ineligible.
“This includes increasing the income limits for these products and services,” she said.
“Around 1,000 extra households will be able to access bond loans, rental grants and rental security subsidies so they can have a secure and stable home.
“These changes will be in place before Christmas, as we know the festive season can be a stressful time that puts extra pressure on some households.”
“We are working hard to ensure our products and services are meeting the needs of Queenslanders who are doing it tough and need a helping hand to remain in their homes.”
Minister Enoch said $11.7 million would be invested in tenancy sustainment responses for vulnerable Queenslanders, with the funding used for brokerage and the employment of additional homelessness support workers.
“We expect an additional 1,500 Queensland households in the private rental market and social housing and experiencing housing stress will benefit from these intensive homelessness support services,” she said.
“The additional funding, which will roll out to providers this month (December), will enable the expansion of tenancy sustainment support responses.
“These services can help people who may be behind in their rent, have received a breach or eviction notice, are struggling to meet expectations for cleaning or maintenance of their rental property or who are moving into a home after being homeless.”
Minister Enoch said the demand for wide-ranging support from individuals and families was growing across the state due to increasing rental costs and the rising cost of living.
“The most important thing for people to do if they are struggling to find a rental home or pay their rent and they are facing homelessness, is reach out to their local Housing Service Centre,” she said.
“Our frontline Housing Service Centres are located across the state to provide housing assistance and support to Queenslanders– whether that is accessing or maintaining a home in the private rental market or applying for social housing.
“Anyone who needs housing assistance can contact their local Housing Service Centre during business hours to discuss housing and support options to meet their needs – either by going to the local Housing Service Centre or calling 13QGOV.
“Or call the Homeless Hotline on 1800 474 753 which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”