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Skip Navigation LinksDepartment of Housing and Public Works > About us > Our history > 1947


In 1947, an alarming 4,218 Queensland families were living in homes made from calico, canvas or hessian. Some even lived in makeshift bark shelters.
To meet the demand for housing, the Queensland Housing Commission started building the State's first rental homes. Public housing rent was called 'economic rent' and was calculated by a formula which took into account elements such as the cost to the Commission of the house and the loan, maintenance and administration. No Australian family was expected to pay more than a fifth of their weekly income in rent, so rebates were introduced and still exist today.
During the late 1940s, the Commission had thousands of workers under contract or on day labour teams working to build brick, timber and fibro houses for Queenslanders to rent.
At the same time, it converted ex-wartime barracks into temporary accommodation for families in need.
The camps provided rustic and sometimes unsuitable accommodation – they were army barracks converted into small flats. Bath and laundry facilities were communal. The communities held boxing and cricket matches, and dances. For kids, camp life meant a constant supply of playmates.
Queensland Housing Commission employees, Brisbane, 1948
Queensland Housing Commission home ownership advertising float, Brisbane, 1960
Queensland Housing Commission employees, Morningside, Brisbane, 1948


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

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