Investors wanted for Qld initiative to fight homelessness

Investors are being sought for a new South-East Queensland-based initiative that aims to provide affordable and safe accommodation for an age group of women who need it the most.

South east Queensland suburbs spi

Launched by not-for-profit developer and community housing provider Brisbane Housing Company (BHC) in partnership with profit-for-purpose real estate agency Elevate Residential, Project 55 looks to provide better housing outcomes for women aged over 55 facing homelessness.

The initiative aims to attract 55 new investors to sign up with Elevate Residential over the next 12 months, with 100 per cent of the profits from property management fees to be used to provide stable housing for women at BHC’s property at Alford Street, New Farm, located in inner city Brisbane.

Currently undergoing renovation, the units will be refurbished and ready for their new occupants in late 2023.

Since the project’s launch in May, seven new investors have reportedly signed up for the campaign, which will run for 12 months.


Chief executive of BHC Rebecca Oelkers described Project 55 as an innovative approach to the current housing crisis by “encouraging property owners to stop and think about how their property management fees could be used for good”.

She cited data that showed women aged over 55 are the fastest-growing cohort of homeless Australians, with as many as 240,000 women in this age group at risk of homelessness every day.

“Many of these older women never imagined they would end up homeless. They are mothers, friends, aunties, and grandmothers,” she said.

During the launch event in Brisbane, CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless also provided a deeper look into the grim rental market conditions in the city.

“Brisbane rents have been increasing at more than 10 per cent per annum since October 2021, and over the past three years, rents are up 30.7 per cent,’’ Mr Lawless said.

He explained that in the past year alone, rents in the Queensland capital have risen by 11.7 per cent, adding approximately $274 a month to rental expenses.

While the unit sector is considered to be the more affordable option for renters, he highlighted that the rental growth is even higher in this sector and still accelerating, up by a record amount of 16.5 per cent over the 12 months to April 2023.

“Unit vacancy rates are at a record low of just 0.7 per cent across the city, off the back of well-below average supply of rental listings.

“Unfortunately, until we see rental demand and rental supply becoming more evenly balanced, rents are going to keep trending higher,’’ he stated.

A recent report from PropTrack showed median rents had soared more than $600 per week in some suburbs across the country, adding up to staggering yearly rises of up to $32,500.

In addition to distributing 100 per cent of Elevate’s profits from commissions to BHC to help support residents to transition into affordable housing, Ms Oelkers shared that the initiative “goes one step further” by providing sponsorship to increase rental affordability for residents alongside personalised packages of support.

“[This enables] a wider variety of women aged 55+ in dire housing need to access safe and affordable housing at the property,” she added.

“We are asking 55 property investors to consider joining the campaign by engaging Elevate Residential to manage their properties. With Project 55, we’re encouraging them to make a positive choice about where their property management fees are going.”

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