The first tenants have started moving into new social housing in Toowoomba in Queensland, with 15 more homes on the way thanks to a partnership between the State Government and YWCA.
New tenant Misty Hogan and her two young children were in the grips of the current housing crisis in Queensland and found themselves with nowhere to go before being offered one of the new homes.
She said her new home has changed her life and that of her children.
“We got it three months ago and it’s the best thing that’s happened to us,” Ms Hogan said.
“We’ve gone from couch to couch, living in a tent with two kids and even having nowhere to go.
“When I got the phone call, it was like a miracle.”
Ms Hogan said the home means that her children are now going to be safe and she can focus on getting her career on track.
“If you don’t have a home, you’ve got nothing really,” she said.
“You don’t feel safe, you’ve got no stability, you’ve got nothing really.
“They were very excited, I cried and she was very excited that she got to have a room.”
The new social housing comes on the back of an acquisition of a former retirement village in Toowoomba, 19 new social homes to be built in Newtown and a partnership with Vinnies to build a further 27 homes in the city.
YWCA Acting Chief Executive Officer Joanna Mallon said she was happy to see people that really need help, finally getting a safe place to live.
“We are so pleased to be working in partnership with the Queensland Government to deliver even more housing solutions for Queenslanders,” Ms Mallon said.
She said the homes are part of YWCA’s commitment to ensure people have access to safe, secure, and affordable homes in Queensland.
“YWCA looks forward to continuing to work closely with the Queensland Government to deliver even more housing solutions across regional Queensland, alleviating housing stress for priority groups such as women, their families and gender diverse people,” she said.
Housing Minister Meaghan Scanlon said with the first tenant already moved in, the new homes are able to make a real difference quickly.
“Along with the pipeline of homes being built and purchased in the region, this partnership will provide a much-needed injection for local families in housing need,” Ms Scanlon said.
“Alongside our big housing build, we’re looking at every lever possible to help Queenslanders who need a social home into one sooner.
“That includes partnering with the YWCA to purchase new homes that’ll help women and their children – many of whom may be escaping domestic and family violence – have a safe, secure and affordable place to call home.”