Woody Point: Navigating Disparities Between Affluence and Housing Insecurity

Tent City Woody Point

Woody Point is grappling with the escalation of a tent city inhabited by individuals facing housing insecurity. The presence of this encampment at the Gayundah Coastal Arboretum, an area with picturesque views of Moreton Bay, has incited significant concern among residents.

Some community members have voiced fears that this has led to an uptick in crime and anti-social behaviour, affecting the suburb’s tranquillity and safety.

The Woody Point Action Group, a private page on social media, has openly expressed their dissatisfaction, employing harsh language and derogatory terms against the individuals in the tent city.

This highlights a growing divide within the suburb. Residents have been actively petitioning the Moreton Bay Regional Council and the state government, demanding the relocation of those facing housing insecurity from the area, citing concerns over safety and the area’s livability.

Conversely, those living in the tents, like Tamieka Brittnee, have shared stories of facing harassment and abuse. 

Ms Brittnee, who has been without a home since she was 27, has spoken of being targeted and insulted in her makeshift shelter. Her experiences shine a light on the prejudices and challenges faced by individuals without stable housing.

Tent City Woody Point
Photo Credit: Unsplash

Michelle Gilchrist from the Breakfast Club Redcliffe, an organisation that assists those without homes, emphasises the critical nature of the housing shortage. With emergency accommodations at full capacity, many are compelled to find shelter in public areas. This crisis is compounded by a need for more affordable housing, leaving few alternatives for those in need.

The City of Moreton Bay Council has recognised the complexity of this issue and is committed to a comprehensive approach at Woody Point and the housing crisis in general. Collaborating with various levels of government and community groups, the Council seeks to meet the housing needs while maintaining community welfare. Acknowledging a significant rise in the number of individuals without homes over the past decade, they emphasise the importance of a collective response.

“We know that this is a tough situation and Council is seeking to take a balanced approach to maintaining amenity for all, while compassionately responding to people sleeping rough,” a spokesperson said.

“The complex nature of homelessness requires a unified and holistic response across all levels of government, alongside the crucial work by the community and homelessness service sectors.”

Published 20-Dec-2023