Housing Services (the former Department of Housing) plays an important role in providing housing assistance to people who need it most. We support a social housing system that provides safe, secure, affordable and appropriate housing which improves the lives of Queenslanders.
Housing Services delivers 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. We also work to help people access and sustain housing in the private rental market, through bond loans, rental grants, RentConnect, the National Rental Affordability Scheme and the Tenant Advice and Advocacy Service.
By taking a responsive, integrated and flexible service approach in developing solutions to meet housing needs, Housing Services aims to contribute to individual, family, and community sustainability.
Everybody needs a place to come home to. A home provides a sense of place and belonging, and is an important ingredient to people living full and satisfying lives. Children in particular are more likely to reach their full potential as adults if they grow up in a stable home set in a supportive neighbourhood.
However, many Queenslanders experience housing stress. The private rental market is too expensive for some; and others, including young people or Indigenous people, can experience discrimination. Housing that is accessible for people with disabilities can be difficult to find, and changing family size and structure, and population and economic shifts, particularly in rural and remote areas of the State, can mean that traditional housing options are no longer suitable or available.
Expensive housing contributes to poverty for many Queenslanders, with poor quality or overcrowded housing adding to family stress and exacerbating health complaints such as asthma for at-risk children. Neighbourhoods with high concentrations of poverty and unemployment can discourage and impede children and adults from improving their life circumstances. Insecure housing can result in people moving regularly against their wishes, contributing to isolation and weaker communities.
As a result of population growth and the increased cost of housing, Housing Services has and will continue to seek innovative and responsive ways to boost social housing to assist Queenslanders in need. In delivering our range of services, we are working with industry, community and private sectors to help households find appropriate housing solutions.
In 2009-10, Housing Services provided more than 78,000 Queensland households with social housing and assisted more than 194,000 households in the private rental market. During this period, 1,474 new dwellings were delivered to increase the social housing portfolio including 349 dwellings under the National Building and Jobs Plan and 79 dwellings under the National Partnership Agreement on Social Housing.
As at 30 June 2010, the department's property portfolio had an approximate value of $15.0 billion, with 67,607 social housing rental units funded and/or managed by department. The department's total operating revenue for 2009-10 was $1.5 billion.
Through our housing and renewal activities, we are working to achieve the Government's commitment to a strong Queensland, a green environment, smart education, healthy Queenslanders and fair communities.