Rapid housing response is rolling out in flood-affected Queensland communities

Published Wednesday, 09 March, 2022 at 04:44 PM

Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

The Palaszczuk Government has moved rapidly to implement a range of measures in response to the current housing challenges and homelessness following recent severe rainfall and flooding.

Minister for Communities and Housing Leeanne Enoch said these efforts included establishing a $600,000 Rapid Response Fund to deliver enhanced housing and homelessness services in impacted areas.

There are currently 1,035 people from 461 households that have already received emergency housing as a result of the severe weather event.

“Flood waters are subsiding across the south-east but in the aftermath of such a significant disaster we know there are Queenslanders who need help to find safe and stable housing,” she said.

“We know there was unprecedented demand on Queensland’s housing market prior to this most recent flooding event.

“Record interstate migration, rising house prices, very low vacancy rates, COVID-19 and severe weather has created a perfect storm.

“Every Queenslander deserves a roof over their head, and I have been looking at all available options to assist people who might require short-term accommodation and longer-term housing.

“We are doing this in a way that considers the individual and the diverse  needs of households.

“This includes providing accommodation solutions with appropriate supports for people with disability, and people experiencing homelessness or domestic and family violence.”

Minister Enoch said there were several options being considered to increase housing supply, particularly in the short-term.

“This includes working with local hotel and motel partners to book appropriate hotel accommodation for short term accommodation needs and exploring capacity of previous quarantine accommodation,” she said.

“We are also exploring offers from the private sector, including commercial, holiday, mobile or other short-term rentals.

“These are options that could assist a number of individuals and families who might not be able to live in their own homes due to flood damage.”

Minister Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government would continue to work closely with Specialist Homelessness Services and Community Housing providers in activated disaster areas to provide essential responses to people needing housing support.

“These are valued partners delivering services that are more important than ever right now,” she said.

“This is about providing a housing response that is wide-ranging and includes support for displaced homeowners, people in the private rental market and those who need the safety net of social housing.

“A range of products, programs and service responses is available to support people in the private rental or home ownership markets.

“In response to community need, we have temporarily expanded use of and eligibility for products such as Bond Loans, Bond Loan Plus and Rental Grants for Queensland residents within the activated disaster areas, who are displaced from their property due to the weather events.

“A range of rent relief measures are also available for social housing tenants who are unable to remain in their homes due to flood related damage and the property requiring repair.”

Minister Enoch said the funding package builds on the work already underway to respond to flood related housing and homelessness need, through the Queensland Government’s community recovery hubs and Housing Service Centres.

“Our officers have been on the ground in evacuation centres across affected areas to provide housing assistance and support and this work is continuing in community recovery hubs that are opening up across the south-east,” she said.

“Our Housing Service Centres have remained open and are a place for people to access information and assistance to meet their housing needs.”

If you need housing help, call 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or visit your nearest Housing Service Centre.

For more information on available housing support, visit www.qld.gov.au/housing

If you are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, contact the Homeless Hotline for free on 1800 474 753 (24/7).

For more information on available grants, a full list of activated areas and locations of community recovery hubs, please visit: www.qld.gov.au/SEQRecoveryGrants


Media contact: Bill Walker 0437 859 987