What would it take to end homelessness in Queensland

All Australians are spending more of their incomes on housing, but worsening affordability is hurting low-income earners the most. Almost half of low-income Australians in the private rental market suffer rental stress. It’s probably no coincidence that homelessness is rising.

There is a powerful case for additional government support to help Australia’s most disadvantaged cope with high housing costs. Housing First policies have halved homelessness in countries like Finland. But not all policies are equally effective. So what should the Queensland State government and the Federal Government do to tackle these challenges? How should they target programs: should they focus just on social housing for those right at the bottom, or should they fund affordable housing for “key workers” in the inner city? How should additional support be delivered: as government funded development; as subsidies for developers; by imposing planning conditions for new developments; or as rent assistance directly into the bank accounts of renters on low incomes? And what is the role of planning and the private housing market?

In this State of Affairs event at the State Library of Queensland, Executive Director of National Shelter, Adrian Pisarski, and Grattan Institute CEO John Daley discuss what’s the best way to help low-income earners deal with rising housing costs and to reduce the number of Queenslanders who are homeless.

Listen to the postcast


Scott Stephens is the Religion & Ethics editor for ABC Online, and the co-host (with Waleed Aly) of The Minefield on ABC Radio National. He has published widely on moral philosophy, political theory and theological ethics. His book On Contempt will be published later this year by Melbourne University Press.


Adrian Pisarski is the Executive Director of National Shelter Australia’s key NGO peak advocating ways to improve housing affordability and end homelessness with a 40 year history in the community sector including roles with housing, homelessness, welfare and youth peak bodies in Tasmania, Victoria, NSW, Queensland and nationally. Adrian was a member of the Affordable Housing Summit Group, instrumental to the development of the National Affordable Housing Agreement and NRAS. He has served on numerous advisory bodies for housing, homelessness and youth affairs at state and national levels. Adrian was a Deputy President of ACOSS 2008-13 and Chairperson of National Shelter 2004-2013.

John Daley has been CEO of the Grattan Institute since it was founded. He has published extensively on economic reform priorities, budget policy, tax reform, housing affordability, and generational inequality. He has worked at the University of Oxford, the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, consulting firm McKinsey and Co, and ANZ Bank in fields including law, public policy, strategy, and finance.

Date: Wednesday, 26 June 2019
Time: 6:00-7:15pm
Venue: State Library Queensland, Auditorium 1, Stanley Pl, South Brisbane