Families and seniors are among those who have started moving into a former Redland Bay retirement village after its recent conversion to temporary accommodation for vulnerable community members.
The state government announced in March it had leased the former Palm Lake Care retirement village on Hamilton Steet, just a stone’s throw from the Redland Bay ferry terminal, to house those experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
It builds on the government’s $3.9 billion spend on social and affordable housing, the largest concentrated investment in Queensland history, to deliver 13,000 homes for those doing it tough across the state.
The former retirement village is made up of two three-bedroom homes and 26 studio units with communal facilities, including a commercial kitchen, activities room and dining room.
Studio units are partially self-contained, with a separate shower and toilet, making them suitable for adult singles and couples.
The state government has taken out a two-year lease on the facility, with the possibility of a one-year extension, while Palm Lake Group carries out planning, designs and approvals for the site’s redevelopment.
Redlands MP Kim Richards said the new addition complemented the ongoing construction of social housing in the area.
“We know there are people in the Redlands community who are doing it tough at the moment and need housing assistance,” she said.
“These homes in this former retirement village will make a significant difference in the lives of the people who are moving in here.”
Mangrove Housing will provide dedicated services on site and help connect residents with long-term housing options, including social and affordable accommodation, and the private rental market.
The government investment comes at a critical time for the state and the nation, with census data showing more than 120,000 people were experiencing homelessness across Australia as of 2021.
Mangrove Housing chief executive Teresa Reed said the townhouses were already tenanted and the suites were expected to be fully occupied by mid-June.
“We are very excited to be involved in this new initiative that looks to repurpose unused facilities to assist in providing temporary accommodation for those doing it tough in the housing crisis,” she said.
“We know first-hand the anxiety and fear that housing uncertainty brings to people, the simple repurposing of this space means safety, security and hope for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”
Housing Minister Meaghan Scanlon said leasing the Redland Bay facility had allowed the government to provide people in need with more immediate access to accommodation.
“We know that having access to safe and secure housing and the stability of a place to call home makes a big difference in many aspects of people’s lives,” she said.
“Through Mangrove Housing, new residents will be supported to connect with longer-term housing options, including social and affordable housing and the private rental market.”