Local law change for caravans in backyards, providing incentives for renting to vulnerable people and investigating options for shared accommodation are just some of recommendations made in the updated Strategic Housing Issues Paper.

HBNC partnered with a host of local service providers* to produce version two of the Strategic Housing Issues Paper, which aims to identify and offer solutions to housing and homelessness issues in the region.

The paper has been produced at a time when housing and homelessness are at the forefront of discussions about our region’s future, HBNC CEO Tanya Stevenson said.

“Housing and homelessness services in both the Fraser Coast and Bundaberg Regional Council areas have significant concerns regarding the current lack of affordable housing and increasing cases of homelessness across the Wide Bay Burnett region,” Tanya said.

“It is envisaged that homelessness will continue to escalate for the Wide Bay, impacting on our economic opportunities, unless multiple strategies are implemented to provide a variety of housing options.

“However, our region has a strong human services sector and a willingness from services and all levels of government to work collaboratively to develop cohesive local responses. This has had a significant impact in reducing homelessness through innovative programs and projects.”

The paper presents a number of short, medium and long-term recommendations. A full list of recommendations can be found in the paper.

Local responses that have been implemented since the first edition of the paper have included:

  1. Fraser Coast Regional Councillors have approved the community consultation to change the local law allowing caravans to be used in backyards for up to 6 months to support family who are struggling to find accommodation. Please write a letter to FCRC to show your support for this initiative. Bendigo Community Bank purchasing a Sleep Bus for the Hervey Bay area.
  2. Sunshine Van has been completed by the Red Tape Shredders to provide shower and laundry services to those sleeping rough.
  3. Kindness Works has established a homeless lounge in Torquay.
  4. The Hervey Bay RSL is supporting morning breakfasts delivered by Josie and Trish, two Hervey Bay locals with a passion for helping the homeless.
  5. HBNC continues to offer Comfort Kitchen each Wednesday night, supported by community donations. A special thank you to major donor, Hervey Bay Disability Association Op Shop in Urangan. Comfort Kitchen feeds about 80 people each week, including people who are homeless and financially struggling.
  6. The HBNC also continues to offer the shower program and the bless box in the Kindness Garden. Special thank you to Coles Pialba for organising a regular Bless Box donation drive. They are currently running a Christmas Raffle, so pop on in and grab some tickets.

*Participating organisations

  • Centacare
  • Fraser Coast Department of Housing and Public Works
  • Regional Housing Ltd
  • Bridges Health and Community Care
  • Department of Premier and Cabinet
  • Fraser Coast Regional Council
  • Community Housing Ltd
  • Queensland Health – Mental Health and Specialised Services
  • IMPACT Community Services
  • Red Tape Shredders
  • Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre
  • Reconnect
  • HBNC Community Navigators

To view the full paper, visit hbnc.com.au/strategic-housing-issues-paper

Media contact

For more information, interviews and photos, contact HBNC Operations Manager, Christian Berechree on 0484 383 055 or email [email protected].