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Budget invests to reduce hoarding and squalor cases

19 June, 2014

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk is continuing to invest in initiatives to respond to complex hoarding and squalor cases in the 2014-15 Budget with a $146,000 commitment to continue supporting people experiencing hardship.

“Council seeks to link residents to other complementary community and mental health support services, as well as addressing public health concerns,” he said.

“The Hoarding and Squalor Reduction Initiative is based on international best practice that supports an on-ground response that is recognised as offering the most effective response to these complex issues and cases.

“Compulsive hoarding and squalor is a complex and challenging mental health issue and while one-off cleans address the immediate public health issues of hoarding and squalor, they only offer a short term solution which is why we are now adopting international best-practice and taking a holistic approach to assist residents in addressing the cause behind this behaviour.”

Cr Quirk said Council would employ a new dedicated officer to work with community organisations and other government agencies as part of the Homeless Community Action Plan and the Brisbane Hoarding and Squalor Working Group to provide coordinated responses to referred hoarding and squalor cases.

“This coordinated response includes intensive outreach and engagement, brokerage of specialist cleaning services and referral to community and mental health services and providers,” he said.

“This new initiative aims to benefit vulnerable residents, their families and neighbours by working towards improved living environments, improved wellbeing, less neighbourhood conflict and mitigated legal and financial ramifications through a coordinated on-ground case-management response.

“We’re committed to working with other levels of government and the community sector to progress more effective and sustainable responses to hoarding issues.

“We will continue to work collaboratively with residents to address hoarding and squalor issues, for example, by providing referrals to support services and assistance for residents to access community based, specialist cleaning services.

In 2014-15 Council will continue to facilitate the Brisbane Hoarding and Squalor Case Coordination Group, which is part of the wider Brisbane Hoarding & Squalor Working Group established as a result of the Brisbane Homeless Community Action Plan developed by the Queensland Government in 2012.

This investment will also continue to support residents experiencing hoarding and squalor issues with tip vouchers and other resources where needed.
[Ends] June 18, 2014



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