Tenants Queensland welcomes continued funding for flagship tenants advice service
Queensland’s renting households will maintain access to free tenancy advice with the Queensland Government today announcing it will continue to fund the state’s flagship tenant advisory program until 2023.
Minister for Housing and Public Works the Honourable Mick de Brenni today pledged $37.597 million for five years from June 2018 for the Queensland Statewide Tenant Advice and Referral Service (QSTARS) at their annual statewide forum.
QSTARS has helped tens of thousands of Queensland renting households since the program commenced on 1 October 2015 but until today the future of the program was unclear with the current contract ending in June 2018.
Penny Carr, CEO of Tenants Queensland which manages and delivers the QSTARS program, welcomed the announcement saying it would provide comfort to half a million renters throughout Queensland to know that the growing service would continue.
“Renters in all regions of the state contact QSTARS for advice and support to meet their tenancy responsibilities and express their rights,” Ms Carr said. “QSTARS provides intense and targeted resources to many who are most vulnerable or at risk of becoming homeless.”
Ms Carr said tenancy issues are not isolated to the socio-economically vulnerable and most renters will require advice and support at some time during their rental experiences.
“Increasing numbers of Queenslanders are renting their home rather than buying,” Ms Carr said.
“With renters now comprising 34 percent of households, Queensland has the largest percentage in any jurisdiction other than the Northern Territory.
“I’m delighted the Queensland government understands the value of QSTARS services to these households who rent their home and the value of longer-term contracts for service providers.”
Funding security allows for more effective service planning and review, retention of experienced staff and increased efficiencies in service delivery.
“The number of renters using the QSTARS advice service has nearly doubled since the program’s inception two years ago and continues to grow as people are becoming more aware of the program,” Ms Carr said.
Tenants Queensland will continue to reach out to renters across the state who require QSTARS services.