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Skip Navigation LinksDepartment of Housing and Public Works > About us > Our history > 1945


For Australia, the depression years of the late 1920s and early 1930s and the beginning of the war in 1939 had seen the prosperity of the nation threatened. Economic and building activity slowed dramatically. It was difficult for most working families to buy land or pay for construction, labour or materials to build their own home.
By 1944, there was a shortage of around 300,000 houses across Australia.
On 15 August 1945, Australia heralded victory in the Pacific and the end of World War II.
Peace saw couples reuniting, while immigration brought many new Australians to the country. Families of five or six were not unusual.
After the initial excitement of victory subsided, Queenslanders settled into a way of life that, on one hand, saw an increasing population and optimism for the future, and on the other, shortages and restrictions on a range of goods and services.
Queensland was suffering, along with the rest of the nation, from a desperate shortage of houses. To make matters worse, basic building materials such as nails, roofing iron and bricks were also in short supply.
Post-war reconstruction including housing provision was a top priority for the State and Commonwealth Governments. In 1945, Queensland's Premier Frank Cooper signed the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement with the five other states. The Commonwealth Government's increased contribution was recognition that housing had become a national problem and heralded the beginning of significant federal-state involvement in Australian housing policy and public rental home construction. A few days later, the Queensland Housing Commission was established.

Queensland Housing Commission vehicle, circa 1950

Last updated 11 June 2014    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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