The Palaszczuk Government is backing its commitment to reduce homelessness with an investment of more than $54 million in Cairns to build new homes for people in need.
Member for Cairns Michael Healy said 137 new homes will be constructed, creating approximately 31 construction jobs each year until 2022.
“I’ve had the privilege of visiting two of these sites during Homelessness Week and seeing firsthand our Housing Construction Jobs program in action,” Mr Healy said.
“The Palaszczuk Government is making sure that all Queenslanders can have a safe, secure place to call home.
“Since 2017, contracts have been awarded to commence 97 new homes and we have now tasked Bryant Building Contractors to deliver another 56 in the Cairns region.
“Importantly, these projects create jobs in our local construction industry.”
In Westcourt, 14 new one-bedroom homes are expected to be completed by June 2020, supporting 120 construction jobs at a cost of $4.68 million.
Construction will start at a Cairns City site in October to deliver 42 one-bedroom homes thanks to a $10.5 million funding commitment.
“This year’s Homelessness Week theme is ‘Housing ends Homelessness’ and we are certainly heeding that call,” Mr Healy said.
“These homes will provide enhanced accessibility for residents, with level thresholds, wider hallways and extra clearances spaces, making them particularly suitable for people who mobilise in wheelchairs.
“Project Bank Accounts will be used on these projects to ensure subcontractors are paid in full, on time for the work they do.”
The Palaszczuk Government is also investing $13.7 million to fund 20 specialist homelessness services in the Cairns Housing Service Centre region.
Services provide tailored support to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to help build their capacity and to connect them to relevant community support networks.
“They include mobile outreach services, food trucks, community kitchen upgrades, drop-in centres and backpacks containing essential supplies,” Mr Healy said.
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said the projects align with the Advancing Queensland Priority of creating jobs in a strong economy.
“The wider community really benefits from the buzz of housing construction – it supports and creates building industry jobs and provides a boost for the local economy,” Mr de Brenni said.
“Following the introduction of the Queensland Housing Strategy in June 2017, our efforts to provide safe, secure and sustainable homes through building more social housing have supported more than 1,544 industry jobs for Queenslanders and generated a broader economic impact, supporting more than 7500 contract and trades opportunities.”