How is Better Together different from other house sharing sites?
The primary difference is that all participants have undergone extensive reference and police checks before their profiles are published on the website. We also provide resources to assist you in negotiating your sharing arrangements, and host events where you can meet people in person informally and get to know them.
Where is Better Together Housing available?
Currently we are hosting in the Sunshine Coast and Noosa Council catchments and are soon expanding into Mackay and other regions. If you subscribe to get updates we will notify of any changes and expansion to the program.
How much does it cost to use the Better Together service?
This program is currently receiving funding from the Queensland Government Department of Housing and Public Works so there is no cost to be involved. You will have to fund the cost of your Police Check if you do not have a current one.
Why am I being asked to complete surveys and participate in research?
Better Together Housing is partnering with the Sunshine Coast University to undertake evaluative research about the program and the women who use it. By participating in the research, you are providing us with your unique experience and perspective. Your voice is important to ensuring we understand our members, can adapt and respond the program to emerging needs, as well as contribute to a broader knowledge base that informs program and policy development at all levels of government.
Why is this just for older women?
Single women over the age of 55 are the fastest growing demographic affected by homelessness in Australia. They have longer life expectancy but on average have accumulated lesser levels of wealth. For these reasons we are focused on single older women in Better Together Housing. The Anti-Discrimination Act (Qld.) 1991 says that a person or organisation may do an act to benefit the members of a group of people with an attribute for whose welfare the act was designed if the purpose of the act is not inconsistent with the Act.
1. Security Document
To join Better Together Housing, you will need EITHER a current National Police Certificate (NPC) OR Blue card. For more information on how to get these documents, please see this page.
After you have either a current National Police Certificate (NPC) OR Blue Card, complete the registration form on our website. You will receive an email confirming we have received your registration. This email will include instructions to email your NPC OR Blue Card to us.
You will receive notification via email on the outcome of your application. This may take up to 1 week. If successful we will provide you with details of how to log into the member only site, and directions of what to do next. This is a self-directed program and as a participant you are in control. We will not match you with another person. We believe that you can make those decisions yourself.
When you have successfully registered with BTH as a member, you will be sent an email with a link to a survey. The questions are related to your current circumstances and previous experience. Responses contribute to both the evaluation of the BTH program and a broader research agenda helping understand the unique experience of older women in Queensland. Your participation in the research is warmly invited but does not affect your membership. All information provided is deidentified to protect your privacy.
Where are the homes?
This project does not have housing for members to access. Members either have their own home (rented or owned) and are looking for someone to share with, or members seek housing together to share in the private rental market.
How long can I stay in the house?
This project is designed for people looking for longer term secure housing options. Leases are generally for a period of 12 months, however this is up to individual tenants.
Does Better Together offer ongoing support to tenants?
No. We believe that that the women involved in this program can live independently. If you need support for any reason, there is a list of local agencies on the website who may be able to assist you.
Am I expected to provide support to the person I share with?
No. People that share are not carers, they are someone you can share a home with. As your relationship develops, it would be your decision if and how you help each other. You may find you share a car ride to the shops or look after their pet when they go away. We encourage you to have open conversations with each other.
We acknowledge and pay our respects to the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.