The State Government today tabled its 2021-22 Queensland “COVID-19 Economic Recovery Budget”, announcing funding for schools, health, infrastructure, renewables, and jobs.

Minister for Housing Leeanne Enoch said through the State Budget, and today’s release of the new Queensland Housing Strategy Action Plan 2021-2025, the Palaszczuk Government was acting immediately to address housing needs across Queensland.

“The Government is increasing the supply of social and affordable housing by almost 10,000 over the life of our Housing Strategy, including 7,400 new builds over the next four years under the Queensland Housing Investment Growth Initiative (QHIGI).”

“We will also deliver more support for women and families who are experiencing, or are at risk of, domestic and family violence or homelessness,” the Minister said.

The Queensland Council for Social Services, with partner organisations has been campaigning for a significant injection of funds to address the state’s housing crisis. Today they welcomed the Government’s commitment of over $2.9 billion towards social housing.

“This budget signals a new approach to housing and homelessness in Queensland,” said QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh.

“This is the first step we have been calling for and provides opportunities for the community, government and private sector to work together toward solving a previously intractable problem.

“The $2.9 billion investment outlined in the budget will lead to more houses for more Queenslanders sooner.  The Government has effectively tripled its investment into social housing over the next four years.

“The recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic must benefit all Queenslanders and this investment delivers just that – homes and jobs.

“We look forward to working with the state government to make sure that this announcement results in homes for women escaping domestic violence, children, people with a disability, First Nations People and older women.

“This was hard fought for by the community services sector and its workers who have continually advocated for major investment into social housing for decades. The announcement today is culmination of the hard work of QCOSS members and a broader coalition of industry voices.”

Partners with QCOSS in its Town of Nowhere campaign have added their support for the budget initiative.

Karyn Walsh, CEO Micah Projects welcomed the announcement, saying:

“It is a relief to see the State government making such a significant start to investment in social housing and the reduction of homelessness. We must make sure a proportion of this investment meets the needs of the most vulnerable, from those experiencing chronic homelessness, domestic and family violence, to children and families seeking a secure safe and affordable home.”

Jo Jessop, CEO Multicap said the announced funding will change the lives of many people living with disability and Multicap applauds and thanks the Queensland Government.

CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland, Kevin Mercer, said the agency’s crisis accommodation and homelessness support services have been put under great strain by the worsening affordable housing shortage.

“This commitment will go a long way to ensuring no Queenslander is left behind,” Mr Mercer said.

Carol Godwin, CEO Anglicare Central Queensland said the announcement is a solid and much needed response to an ever-worsening housing crisis across Queensland.

“To have voice of the non-government sector heard is a positive step forward and enhances our confidence in the state government when it comes to responding to the needs community.  It will take time to move these initiatives through to tenancy options and supports but there is comfort in knowing they will come.”

“As a regional provider, we will be carefully considering what difference this can make across Central Queensland to ensure resource allocations factor in the needs of our communities, particularly in centres with vacancy rates close to 0%.”

Mission Australia Queensland, Kyabra, Lifeline, Wesley Mission Queensland also added their support for the initiative.

Other budget highlights include:

  • A $3.34 billion Queensland Jobs Fund – including a new $2 billion Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund – to stimulate job creation and industry development.
  • A record $22.2 billion health investment, plus a $2 billion Hospital Building Fund to help meet growth pressures across the health system.
  • An infrastructure spend of $14.688 billion in 2021-22, with 61.2 per cent of that supporting 29,800 jobs in regions outside greater Brisbane.
  • $16.8 billion to improve education outcomes for students and teachers.
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