Permanent supportive housing (PSH) provides quality secure and affordable housing, along with social and health support, to people at risk of and people experiencing homelessness. Just over ten years ago, Queensland’s first PSH program was established. Drawing on analyses of tenancy data from the ten-year period between 2012 and 2022, this paper examines tenants’ patterns of entry into and exits out of the program. The research aims to generate evidence on tenants’ experiences of positive and negative PSH housing outcomes and identify what tenancy and support work could take place to help maximise positive tenant outcomes.
Our findings show that, of the 417 tenancies in the program over the ten-year period, the majority (75%) had positive housing outcomes, including sustaining their tenancies, exiting voluntarily with no breaches, or exiting voluntarily with any tenancy breaches remedied. The remaining tenancies (25%) met the criteria for negative outcomes, including exiting into homelessness, exiting involuntarily, and exiting with unresolved tenancy breaches. Tenants who received breaches for rent arrears and behaviour notices were more likely to exit their housing compared to those with no or other types of breaches.
The two breaches associated with exiting the program offer opportunities for intervention by PSH organisations and practitioners to support positive outcomes. Preventing evictions for rental arrears is challenging as PSH aims to provide normalised housing that enables tenants to control their own income. We recommend practitioners continue to work with tenants to develop a process to respond to people who experience rental arrears in ways that both support tenants’ financial autonomy and their ability to pay rent on time. Preventing breaches for behaviour is equally challenging, as these are frequently issued in response to tenants’ concerns about the conduct of their neighbours. There may thus be opportunities for mediation and conflict-resolution interventions to address (some of) these behaviour issues. Finally, at the policy level, it is important that in instances where evictions/forced exits cannot be avoided, state governments have a clear and systematic approach to partnering with PSH providers to support this cohort of tenants to prevent them from exiting into homelessness.