Australian cities hollow out as younger families move out and inner suburbs get older

A map of Sydney suburbs

Many families move to afford a freestanding house, but higher density living could save them money, experts say.

Families with children make up a smaller share of households in the inner cities in 2021 than they did a decade before. The median age was similar in much of inner Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney in 2021 when compared to 2011, but declined in some outer suburbs. Outer suburbs have also seen some of the largest increases in dwelling construction.

While many families move out to the suburbs to afford a freestanding house, the productivity commission says the answer is to increase density in the inner city.

Pleas to house homeless in Pinkenba quarantine facility

Pinkenba quarantine facility

Political leaders have been urged to get on with housing vulnerable Queenslanders at Pinkenba as stalled plans to convert the quarantine site drag on.

The state’s peak body for homeless support Q Shelter has once again delivered an offer to all levels of government to host an implementation design meeting to ensure the facility is fit for purpose.

Executive Director Fiona Caniglia said … “Now is the time when we need collaboration across the levels of government together with the community services sector,” she said.


View the full article at

Financing first home ownership: opportunities and challenges

AHURI RESEARCH: This final inquiry examines the challenges of financing to buy a first home. It incorporates four supporting Research Projects and focuses on socio-economic developments and policy settings that impact access to home ownership.

While high house prices are often cited as the biggest challenge faced by first homebuyers, this Inquiry highlights that the problem is significantly more complex.

Access the report on the AHURI website.


Unaffordable housing – it’s the politics, stupid!

Unaffordable housing – it’s the politics, stupid!

Australia remains stubbornly indifferent to the increasingly harsh conditions of our fellow homeless citizens, our hapless next generation, and the very real economic costs of our indifference, preferring instead to enjoy the benefits of wealth and lifestyle conferred by our stubborn inaction – pour us another chardy please…

Introduced in The Fifth Estate, the highly respected Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) recently released its wide-ranging report, Towards an Australian Housing and Homelessness Strategy. In addition to its explicit recommendations, there are three implicit features of the report that warrant further elaboration in this discussion.

Click here to view original web page at

Queensland Government planning reforms to benefit Community Housing Providers

Here are the the three key planning changes CHPs need to be across.

These amendments further contribute to addressing the current housing affordability and supply challenges that communities are facing across Queensland.

Click each link below to read the details:

Changes to regulation of rooming accommodation, dwellings houses and zone purpose statements


Changes to emergency housing regulations and infrastructure designation pathway for social and affordable housing


Changes to secondary dwellings


Click the article button below to read more about planning issues and interests.

Shared Equity Schemes for Older Women in Queensland – Gold Star Project

The Gold Star Project is aimed at stimulating the development of innovative financial products that would enable people of limited means to achieve housing security through building equity in their home. The focus is on shared equity products that can be accessed by women who are unable to access commercially provided standard home loans. The cohort of particular concern is women over 55 years living in Queensland given the rising numbers experiencing financial stress and at risk of homelessness. The economics of housing for single older women are particularly challenging, for reasons outlined below, so inclusion of other cohorts may have to be considered to improve scheme viability.

Housing policy is enhanced through the recognition of the importance of housing for human welfare and the severe detrimental effects of homelessness. The benefits of housing go well beyond physical shelter – the Australian Centre for Social Impact has distilled the three critical functions of home as acquiring agency, connection with others and expression of identity.1

The gulf between renting and home ownership is enormous and the number and diversity of people occupying this space are growing. Beyond the current focus in the policy debate on supply and affordability of housing, greater diversity of options is needed when it comes to buildings, financing, tenure and ownership types to reflect the diversity of the population. Innovation is needed that places people rather than buildings at the heart of the process to provide greater diversity of options. Shared equity has an important role to play in enabling innovation, allowing people to move from insecure rental to homeownership, and unlocking the benefits of secure housing for a diverse group.

Brisbane 2032 Legacy Learning Series from Q Shelter

Q Shelter has delivered a report called Go for Gold encouraging a comprehensive suite of solutions to housing supply and affordability. This series will take place as part of Q Shelter’s Feeling the Pulse sessions on housing investment and growth and in partnership with CHIA Qld and National Shelter.


Session One: Working towards a healthy housing system and why social housing isn’t enough on its own. Speaker Saul Eslake.

Click here to register.

Wednesday 17 August  |  3.00pm-4.00pm


Session Two: Liveable higher density social and affordable housing. Speaker Dr Sacha Reid from Australia’s Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre.

Click here to register.

Wednesday 21 September  |  2.00pm-3.00pm


Brisbane 2032 Legacy Learning Series Workshop

Click here to register

Wednesday 16th November 10:00am – 12:30pm


Session Three: Case study of Glasgow 2014.

Click here to register

Wednesday 25 January  |  4:30pm – 5:30pm


Click here to read the report

Domestic & Family Violence: Strengthening the Real Estate Response – a toolkit to guide practice

The toolkit has been updated to reflect legislative changes to the Rooming and Accommodation Act.

This toolkit has been developed to support real estate agents strengthen their practice in managing tenancies that are impacted by Domestic and Family Violence, providing:

  • information to increase awareness;
  • tools to guide Property Managers to manage tenancies impacted; and
  • suggestions about how to advise landlords on the situation and its management.

This toolkit aims to strengthen the response of the real estate industry as Australia strives to put a halt to domestic and family violence.

Safe and secure housing is a critical component for victims of domestic and family violence and the real estate industry is in a prime position to help achieve this outcome.

This resource was funded by the Queensland Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women in partnership with the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

Click here to access the toolkit.


Federal Leaders’ Debate Falls Short on Nationally Co-ordinated Approach to Housing Solutions


Federal Leaders’ Debate Falls Short on Nationally Co-ordinated Approach to Housing Solutions

Housing and Homelessness peak body, Q Shelter was heartened to hear housing affordability mentioned at the outset of last night’s Federal Leaders’ Debate. However, is calling for both leaders to go further and commit to a Housing Summit and a National Housing Strategy.

Q Shelter Executive Director, Fiona Caniglia said we needed to know that national leaders would work to unite all relevant stakeholders in a focussed effort to address Australia’s deepening housing crisis.

“We need to reach beyond partisan politics to find unity of purpose to ensure all Australians are housed affordably and appropriately. There is no greater threat to our prosperity as a nation and our wellbeing as people,” Ms Caniglia said.

“People in housing stress don’t want political point-scoring. They want solutions that reach ahead to meet forecasted need.

“It isn’t good enough to shift responsibility to other levels of Government. Every level of Government, the private sector, community and not for profit sector all have vital roles to play which is why national leadership is vital.”

Q Shelter is calling for a nationally coordinated approach combined with targets of 32,000 new social and affordable homes for Queensland by 2032.



Media opportunities for comment by Q Shelter Executive Director, Fiona Caniglia.
Q Shelter Media Contact: Michelle Saftich – Phone 0407 074 645


PDF version.

Q Shelter State Budget Submission 2022 – 2023

Q Shelter welcomes the opportunity to make this submission to the Queensland State Government. Its purpose is to address housing need and homelessness as the recovery from COVID-19 progresses, and in the context of recent flood events which have damaged homes. These two events are also helping to drive historically low vacancy rates in the private rental market and a worsening housing crisis. It is offered as input to the Queensland State Budget process.

Click here to read Q Shelter’s budget submission.