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After several years of solid work to establish Queensland Shelter, housing workers based throughout the inner city came together in 1994 to form a specific Inner City branch of the organisation. A meeting of Queensland Shelter members was held in May 1994 at the Boundary Street Hotel, West End to discuss the establishment of an Inner-suburbs branch. The Brisbane Inner City Housing Branch was established the following month in a meeting at the offices of the Queensland Community Housing Coalition.
With eight registered members the branch set out to consolidate Brisbane North and Brisbane South Boarding House projects as its beginning activities. However the branch quickly expanded to having a broad focus on monitoring the impacts of gentrification and associated social change on the sector involvement in inner city development projects
Shortly after the branch formed a series of public meetings were held to identify issues of concern. These included the impact of ‘gentrification' on low-income residents, the closure of boarding houses and the loss of other low cost housing. From these meetings a boarding house working party was formed. The Boarding House Action Group (BHAG) continues to operate as a sub-committee of the Inner City Branch.
The inner city branch itself operated under the umbrella of the Inner Brisbane Housing Network. Network activities have included: -
- Housing Justice Forums' (‘97,98,99)
- Assisting the Boarding House Action Group (BHAG) to hold forums in 1995, 1997 and 1999, 2003, 2005,.2007
- Submitting to the Brisbane City Council, ‘City Plan'
- Participating in consultations on the ‘New Farm Development Control Plan' and the ‘West End/Woolloongabba Local Area Housing Action Plan'.
- Supporting the development of ‘Project 4101' - community housing trust
- Developing media and campaign strategies around housing and homelessness issues
Inner Brisbane Housing Network members who are Queensland Shelter members belong to the Inner City branch. The network has a mailing list over 80 individuals and agencies and while this has been subsumed over the past few years it is alive and well and participating in a range of networks aimed at the plethora of affordable housing needs within the inner city.:
Any agency or individual with an interest in local housing issues is welcome to become a member and attend branch meetings.