Brisbane Times: Are empty properties in affluent suburbs the key to housing young people?

Mar 01, 2024

This is what it looks like when all sectors come together to solve the housing crisis.

Last week, Brisbane Youth Service and the Property Industry Foundation, with support from the Queensland government and Brisbane City Council, brought six corporate partners together to turn an empty property in an affluent Brisbane suburb into short-term housing for young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

The house – called ‘Falconer House 2’ – is part of Brisbane City Council’s Community Housing Partnership Project (CHPP), a program that sees vacant properties earmarked for future development converted into short and long-term accommodation.

It sits beside Falconer House 1, another council-owned property that was converted six months ago and is currently housing four young people.

“We’re exceptionally proud to support projects like BYS’s Falconer Houses,” Property Industry Foundation Queensland state manager Antoinette Rusby-Perera said.

“Together, we are able to transform houses into homes and help provide a foundation for vulnerable youth to thrive.”

The Falconer Houses operate as “mini” youth foyers and deliver on-site support across a range of areas including education, employment and life skills.

Youth development coach Craig McLean has been working for BYS for five years. In that time, he’s seen the homelessness crisis spread from vulnerable individuals, to groups that have previously been unaffected by insecure housing.

“One great thing about this type of housing and program is that it really does invest in that young person coming out and having a holistic background,” McLean said.

“So they’re going to have a good rental history, good social support network and some education and employment experience behind them.”

Thank you to the Property Industry Foundation and generous corporate donors and community partners King Living, MBM, MinterEllison, Built, Kane and Saunders Havill Group.