Seminar (as part of our HDR workshop) ‘Partnership between Government and Not-for-Profit Sectors in Social Housing – Sensing the partners in action in Queensland, Australia.’ – Sirisena Herath

Please join us for this GeoPlan Seminar (as part of our HDR workshop) on Tuesday 15th November. Sirisena Herath will present on: Partnership between Government and Not-for-Profit Sectors in Social Housing – Sensing the partners in action in Queensland, Australia.


The social housing sector in Australia is in a significant neo-liberal policy experiment searching a viable partnership between government and not-for-profit sectors to address unmet social housing demand accumulated over decades. The national policies National Affordable Housing Agreement and National Registration System for Community Housing Providers coupled with state specific housing policies and legislation seem to form parts of this policy experiment.  Despite top-down ambition, the path dependent challenges for this policy experiment are many.  On one hand Australian not-for-profit social housing sector is relatively embryonic controlling less than 20% of total social housing stock which is lower than 1% of the total housing stock. Moreover, most these community providers emerged as small time local service providers to extremely vulnerable social housing clients based on government funding. On the other hand, experience of Australian states as mainstream providers of social housing is not significant as a result of becoming implementers of social housing policy that was purposely made subservient to the dominant market housing policy since 1970s. Market centric housing policies have seen a roll-back of social housing to a minimum social safety net. This geographic peculiarity of Australian social housing sector poses significant tension between the actual capabilities of social housing providers and the policy intensions. The discussion of this paper demonstrates how a cross section of social housing providers in Queensland involving both government and not-for-profit sectors reflected these tensions in relation to roles expected of them.

When and where: 1:50 – 2.30pm | Tuesday 15th November | Moot Court, Building W3A, Room 328.


Before beginning of this research project Siri worked for Queensland government department of housing and public works as a senior project manager implementing social housing projects in diverse locations including remote indigenous communities for 8 years.  Siri’s latest academic qualifications include a Master of Architectural Studies (1994) from the University of Queensland and Graduate Diploma in Urban and Regional Planning (2002) from QUT. Before moving to Australia Siri worked as Senior Manager Architecture in National Housing Development Authority, Sri Lanka after obtaining Master of Science in Architecture from the University of Moratuwa Sri lanka.  Siri’s work experience in social housing is more than 20 years.


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