The Social and Community Housing sector provides accommodation, support and care services to homeless high need and low income earners throughout Queensland through the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA). Although the size of the sector (including its workforce) is unclear, it has grown exponentially in the last few years.
Many homeless Australians are not captured by the system and charities have developed unaccounted for, creative solutions (such as occupying houses while people have extended leave away from their homes) to meet the dire need in some regions. While these strategies are to be lauded it makes it difficult to profile the industry from a workforce perspective.
In the social housing sector, public servants provide direct service in some regions and for some tenants while also outsourcing tenant management to community housing, non-government organisations. Housing workers make up the vast majority of workers in the sector. However new models of support for people who are homeless or in fear of being homeless require a range of professional services to enter the sector.
This workforce is supplied by the public sector from the Department of Communities Homelessness and Housing Services (now Department of Housing and Public Works) with movement between public and community sectors common, and by the business and other community services, including real estate, financial and legal services. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled organisations provide specialist services in homelessness and housing often in parallel with health and other care services. Housing co-operatives and community housing organisations are funded from subsidised tenant rents to accommodate and house low income earners and those in fear of homelessness.
Social housing services include short term, crisis accommodation, transitional housing (to support tenant sustain tenancies and assist them to enter longer term housing) and long term public, community and affordable housing programs.
For more information view the 2012 Industry Skills and Workforce Development Report - Social and Community Housing summary