In the July issue of the ACT Housing Newsletter, housing minister John Hargreaves outlines the reasons that he thinks Deb Foskey should stay in public housing. He manages to avoid her name by referring to “market renters”.
He goes on for a bit about the historical reasons that the ACT is a public housing town “The first public properties were constructed in the early 1920s.The stock expanded dramatically in the 1950s and 1960s in response to the growth in the Commonwealth public sector and it was not until 1972 that privately built dwellings outnumbered publicly built dwellings in the ACT.”
He also states that “Today people in receipt of a rental rebate occupy 86 per cent of our public housing properties.These
are people who are largely unable to afford private rentals in Canberra.”
He defends the “market renters” by claiming that “every state and territory has market renters within their public housing systems who have security of tenure. For historic reasons, Canberra has had a higher percentage.”
I think he sums up the policy in one sentence “They pay â€”through annual rent assessments â€”market rents and this is a revenue source that contributes significantly to Housing ACT â€™s budget.”
Basically, it doesn’t matter to him that these “market rents” are far lower than the private rental market, all that matters is that the people pay their bills. For a government who claim to have a social conscience, they don’t seem to care much about the people who are really unable to afford private rent.
The rest of his article seems like a pro-Stanhope rant informing us of the wonderful initiatives they have undertaken (the arboretum is supprisingly omitted). If you are really interested, it is on pages 4 & 5 of the PDF.