Queensland is floating a novel approach for real estate industry professionals to support victims of family and domestic violence (DFV).
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) has proposed instituting a register of private rental properties owned by landlords who are willing to prioritise tenants impacted by DFV.
Called The Priority Project (TPP), it would heavily rely on the support of property managers and agents in helping to identify rental properties for the register, gauging owner interest in supporting the initiative.
“We know that safe housing is critical in helping those whose lives have been disrupted by violence and abuse on the road to recovery,” a statement from REIQ commented on the unique contribution the real estate industry is placed to make in addressing this issue.
The body acknowledged that the plan should only be part of a larger effort to secure the needed housing for women and children experiencing homelessness due to DFV.
“While there is a clear need for more short-term crisis accommodation and social housing, there is also the opportunity to house vulnerable women in medium to long term tenancies in under-utilised ‘housing stock’ – private rentals,” REIQ stated.
“Private rentals are not utilised at scale in response to demand created by domestic violence and homelessness, but we know a prioritisation system could significantly help,” the organisation added.
In addition to the positive impact delivered to the community, REIQ noted that the initiative stands to also save property managers time and money by cutting down on advertising, conducting open homes, and replying to a high volume of inquiries.
REIQ has outlined that while tenanting a property on the register would differ slightly from the normal course of business, once a tenant is in place, the job of managing the property would be the same as for any other tenancy agreement – “same laws, same process”.
The primary difference is that a prospective tenant would be referred to a TPP broker through a support services case manager.
REIQ is currently soliciting feedback from property managers on the proposal in the form of a survey, which will serve to direct the course of a 12-month pilot set to run in south-east Queensland next year.
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Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.