Housing and homelessness

Homelessness can affect anyone at any point in their lives. It is a sensitive, complex and confronting issue.

Poverty, unemployment and lack of affordable, safe and appropriate housing are the primary drivers behind homelessness. Other contributing factors include family violence, physical health and mental health issues, childhood trauma and abuse, substance abuse and the lack of a safety net to fall back on.

There are 1,166 people experiencing homelessness in the Moreton Bay Region:

  • 55% are male, 45% are female
  • 42% are aged 20-39 years, with 24% aged 40-59 years, 22% are under 19 years and the remaining 12% are aged over 60.
  • More than 75 children under 10 are living with a degree of homelessness.

Visit Homelessness Australia and Council to Homeless Persons for more information about homelessness.

Homelessness Week

Homelessness Week is held every year during the first full week of August to raise awareness of the significant number of people who are experiencing homelessness in Australia each night.

For more information, including resources, events and how you can get involved visit Homelessness Australia.

Leading the response

The Queensland Government, acting through the Department of Housing and Public Works, is the lead agency responsible for reducing homelessness in Queensland. The Department of Housing and Public Works provides public housing and funding to housing and homelessness service providers. Visit Queensland Government website for more information.

Department of Housing and Public Works and service providers ensure that people experiencing homelessness in the Moreton Bay Region have access to the support services that they need.

Council can make referrals to these authorities when cases of homelessness are identified in the community. Council respects the privacy of people experiencing homelessness and their right to access public amenities and participate in public activities, and will only engage with a person if:

  • They appear to be distressed or in need of assistance
  • Their personal possessions limit access to or affect the use of public amenities or
  • They are not complying with a relevant law or regulation.

Every individual’s unique circumstance is taken into careful consideration before a referral is made.

How Council responds to the issue

When Council receive a report of camping (tent, caravan or car) or suspected homelessness on public land, our Local Laws Officers visit the site and engage with the individuals.

In cases of one-off overnight stays, Officers will remind people of the Local Laws and kindly request them to move on.

If the person states they are homeless, Council Officers will link them with Specialist Homelessness Services. These services provide outreach support with the aim of assisting the person to find suitable and sustainable accommodation. This is a long-term resolution to the issue.

Council continue to engage with individuals and remind them of their community obligations, being:

  • Keep the area tidy
  • Remove rubbish
  • Respect public areas
  • Put down tents every morning

If the person does not identify as homeless, Council does not have the power to remove people from the land. However, Council can issue compliance and/or infringement  notices should a person fail to comply with an officer’s request to leave the local government controlled land.

Public spaces

All people have a right to enjoy and feel safe in public places.

If a person has set up a temporary structure that is unsafe or limits access or use of a public space, a Local Laws Officer will request that the structure is removed.

Similarly, if the storage of personal items limits access or use of a public space, a Local Laws Officer will request that the personal belongings are removed.

Local Laws Officers will consider the circumstances of the person, the impact of the structure and/or personal belongings on the public space before deciding how to respond.

Items that are believed to be abandoned in a public space will be impounded by council. You may phone Council on 07 3205 0555 if you believe that your personal items have been impounded to find out if we have them and how you can retrieve them.

Local parking rules apply throughout the Moreton Bay Region and all drivers in the Moreton Bay Region are responsible for knowing and complying with these rules.

Need help?

Homeless Hotline

Homeless Hotline is a phone information and referral service for people who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. Homeless Hotline will provide information about where you can find support, accommodation, meals and showers.

The service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Free call: 1800 474 753 or TTY: 1800 010 222.

Ask Izzy

Ask Izzy is a website and app that connects people who are in crisis with the services that they need.

Public and Community Housing

The Queensland Government Department of Housing and Public Works provides housing assistance to people on low to moderate incomes.

Tenancy advice

The Queensland State-wide Tenant Advice and Referral Service (QSTARS) provides free tenancy information, advice and assistance. The state-wide advice number is 1300 744 263.

The regional QSTARS provider for Moreton Bay is Enhance Care. Visit their website or phone 07 5432 3374 for information.

The Queensland Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) provide tenancy information and support, bond management, dispute resolution, investigations and prosecutions, and education services. Contact the RTA on 1300 366 311.

Moreton Bay Homelessness and Housing Services Guide

The Moreton Bay Homelessness and Housing Services Guide(PDF, 657KB) has been developed by Moreton Bay Regional Council in collaboration with the Moreton Bay Homelessness and Housing Network - a group of organisations that provide services to support people experiencing or who are at risk of homelessness.

The guide provides information about services available in the Moreton Bay Region to support people who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or who require assistance to sustain their tenancies.

Want to help?

Learn more

Increase your awareness and learn more about homelessness by visiting the Homelessness Australia and Council to Homeless Persons websites.

Respect

Remember that people who are homeless are people too. Give people who are homeless the same respect and courtesy you would your family and friends.

Donate

The provision of donated goods to people experiencing homelessness is best managed through homelessness services to ensure that people receive the items they need and are connected to ongoing support.

Contact your local neighbourhood centre or homeless service and ask if they accept donations and what items they currently need.

Volunteer

Many homelessness services rely on the generosity of volunteers.

Think about what skills you can contribute and how much time you can commit. Is there a cause that is close to your heart?

Contact your local neighbourhood centre or homeless service and ask if they need volunteers.

Advocate

Visit the Homelessness Australia to learn more and become involved in campaigns to end homelessness.

For more information contact the Community and Cultural Programs team on (07) 3205 0555 or email communityprograms@moretonbay.qld.gov.au.