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Skip Navigation LinksDepartment of Housing and Public Works > About us > Our history > 1993


The 1990s saw Queensland's social and economic landscape change.
Between 1945 and 1999, Queensland's population nearly tripled and continued to grow at a faster rate than in any other state in Australia. The number of households in public rental housing increased from 198 to 44,640, as did the average weekly rent from £1, 8 shillings and 6 pence ($2.85) to $56.49.
During the 1980s to 1990s, deregulation and casualisation of the labour market saw an increasing number of women entering the workforce. Subsequently, the number of dual income households increased, as did the mean household income in line with rising house costs. While public housing rent policy was geared for this change, the private market was not, and many households with fixed or low incomes were increasingly left out of the private market.
Not only was Queensland's population growing, but it was changing. Average household sizes were decreasing in line with an ageing population and fewer households with children. An increasing number of retirees were making Queensland their home and an increasing number of people were casually employed and without the income security needed to service a housing mortgage.
The department could no longer provide a one-dimensional service to meet the increasingly complex needs of its clients. Gaining a better understanding of its clients and more sophisticated service provision became a priority for the department. In the early 1990s, decentralisation of the department's single service delivery point in Brisbane to 17 Area Offices located throughout the state was a key step towards realising this aim.
Overall growth in consumerism and increasing reference to clients' rights in relation to government services saw the department initiate strategies to involve clients in the development and delivery of its services. Tenants were encouraged to interact and participate in defining and shaping the department's services, which resulted in public housing better suited to the people who would live there.
The late 1980s and early 1990s saw a greater range of services available through the Community Housing sector to cater for the needs of older clients, single clients, clients with a disability and those in crisis situations or facing homelessness. Housing that met the specific cultural needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, a group facing significant disadvantages in securing appropriate and affordable housing in the private market, also became a priority.
The quality of public housing improved dramatically. Building and landscape styles tended towards clean, simple and low maintenance designs which blended in with their surrounds.
More Queenslanders could afford the 'great Australian dream' to own their own home during this decade as mean household incomes increased and home mortgage rates declined, and the department continued to play an important role in providing loans to home buyers.
Community and Urban Renewal programs to address issues associated with older public housing estates were introduced during the 1990s, and represented a commitment to not only improve the quality of housing in these high density public housing areas, but also to address social and economic issues in these communities.
Home Assist Secure was established to provide safety related information, referrals and subsidised assistance to Queenslanders 60 years and over, or people with a disability. The service continues today, giving vulnerable Queenslanders the help they need to live independently in their own homes.

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

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