Homelessness affects many Queenslanders and is one of the key challenges of our time.
National Homeless Persons Week in early August highlighted their plight and the fact that people from all walks of life are homeless for any number of reasons, such as the natural disasters of the summer of 2010-11.
The floods and Cyclone Yasi affected 136,209 residential buildings, with over 5000 uninhabitable or vacated. Approximately 7000 people used evacuation centres between December and April and many had nothing to return home to and needed to find alternative, long-term accommodation.
Homelessness continues to be high on the agenda for the Queensland Government and the 2011-12 budget provides evidence of our total commitment to helping vulnerable people.
Overall this year we will build around 1900 new homes throughout Queensland. This will include almost 1500 social housing dwellings, plus additional crisis accommodation and further housing on remote Indigenous communities. We are also funding a large number of homelessness organisations to assist with support and emergency accommodation.
Those struggling in the private market also have assistance available from the department. A key initiative in this year’s budget is the $12.6 million in incentives for investors to provide affordable private rental dwellings across Queensland, including an additional 3000 homes, as part of the National Rental Affordability Scheme.
I appreciate the efforts of departmental staff, partner agencies, community organisations and volunteers whose combined efforts work towards ending homelessness and reducing the pressure on many families and individuals facing tough times.
The Hon. Karen Struthers MP
Minster for Community Services and Housing
and Minister for Women