The Queensland Statewide Tenant Advice and Referral Service (QSTARS) is a free statewide advice and referral service for Queensland tenants which commenced on October 1, 2015.
QSTARS aims to provide all Queensland renters with high quality, free, independent tenant advisory services that assist tenants to manage and sustain their tenancy.
QSTARS aims to:
- Increase Queensland renters’ understanding of tenancy issues, and their ability to understand and exercise their tenancy rights and responsibilities;
- Empower and build the capacity of Queensland renters’ to take action on their own to resolve issues relating to their tenancy;
- Increase tenants’ capacity to maintain their tenancies and reduce their risk of homelessness;
- Provide the minimum amount of intervention to facilitate the most positive outcome achievable for the Eligible person regarding their tenancy matters;
- Reserve the highest level of resources and assistance for vulnerable and disadvantaged renters who require more intensive support to achieve the most positive outcome in regard to their tenancy matters;
- Provide a well-integrated network of QSTARS service providers through which high quality and consistent services are delivered.
A New Program
The QSTARS is an exciting new program funded by the Queensland government. It commenced on October 1, 2015 and is expected to be fully operational in the first half of 2016.
QSTARS is managed by Tenants Queensland (TQ) who is the lead providers. TQ is assisted with service delivery in some regions by a seven partner organisations. They are: The Advocacy and Support Centre; Community Plus; Enhance Care; Suncoast Community Legal Service; Ipswich Regional Advocacy Service; The Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre; Mackay Regional Community Legal Centre.
The QSTARS program
QSTARS has a central point of contact. The statewide 1300 744 263 advice line provides the single entry point to QSTARS services.
Key features of STARS service delivery are:
- A single entry point through the statewide telephone advice service which provides advice, assessment and referral services;
- A client centred and flexible approach that considers the needs, ability and capacity of clients;
- A strongly connected network of services working together to deliver STARS program outcomes;
- Access to expert tenancy advice and support;
- Access to a range of service delivery outlets across Queensland;
- The development of Community Access Points across the state;
- Consistent and high quality services delivered across the state.
QSTARS provides tenancy advice and support services for Queensland renters depending on need and capacity to self-advocate. Services include;
- Information and referral – to assist callers to access information regarding their renting rights and responsibilities, and information to sustaining tenancies. This includes factsheets, a website and other and other information products yet to be developed.
- Individual advice and assistance – Personalised advice and assistance about tenancy rights and available related services.
- Expert advice and professional support – Specialist advice on tenancy rights and personalised support to exercise tenancy rights.
Community Access Points
The QSTARS model has established a number of access points where clients’ needs can be met without having to attend a service outlet. A second phase of developing Community Access Points will be established during 2016.
QSTARS aims to provide clients centred services and work between Tenants Queensland and its partner organisations is underpinned by a partnership framework and cooperative ethos.
About Tenants Queensland
Tenants Queensland (TQ) is a specialist statewide community and legal service providing free tenancy law advisory services for residential tenants and was established in 1986.
TQ aims to protect and improve the rights of all Queensland households who rent their home including those who live in marginal tenures such as caravan parks and boarding houses.
TQ provides a state-wide telephone advice service, tenancy and legal casework for renters, tenancy publications, a tenancy law training program, and research and policy development in relation to tenancy law issues.
TQ has been at the forefront of all tenancy law reform since its establishment.