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ACT Housing and common people

By botto - 25 October 2010 16

Dear Riot Members,

We are writing to you because we believe there is a huge waste of resources and corruption happening on at the ACT Housing. Our family (2 children) wait for the housing for 2 years. My husband suffers from mental illness and though he got the job, half of his salary is spent on rent.

The house we live in has falling off tiles that nearly missed our young daughter while in bath. Luckily nothing happened but she got really scared and doesnt want any baths since then.

Whenever we tell the Housing personel about our living conditions – they ignore us and send us back ‘copy + paste’ answers that do not answer anything. I believe they ignore us because we are migrants and we have no power nor money nor connections and can’t do anything. And while we need to be transparent with them and unveil any personal details – they do not to tell us how much longer we need to wait for the house. There are no updates – nothing.

But at the same time – not far from us on the corner of McKail Cres. and Cowcher Pl. in Stirling/Weston Creek – there are three ACT Housing houses standing unoccupied for over 10 months!!! now and nothing is happening! What a waste – homeless people could be placed there for a time. We just can’t believe it! But we have no power to do anything about it! We would be pleased if you could investigate it. We have contacted few other agencies with regards to our case and this waste of resources: Welfare, Mental Ilnesses Centre for Migrants, Children Rights Group…

We will contact more. Stateline, Current Affairs or SBS.

We wonder how many people we need to notify before the Housing personel get the message that we are humans and need to be respected and treated with dignity.

We really hope you can have a look at this case and help us to clarify things and make ACT Housing more responsible towards the community.

Regards,

What’s Your opinion?


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16 Responses to
ACT Housing and common people
erv 10:37 pm 25 Oct 10

1. You have a roof over your families head
2. If it bothers you so much that half your husbands pay goes on rent get a job.
3. If you have issues with the state of your rented house take it up with the landlord.
4. Housing goes on priority. If you were homeless and slept in your car you would of course be given priority over someone who had a roof over their head but just didn’t like the fact they paid too much rent.

JC 6:46 pm 25 Oct 10

Genie said :

My neighbour lives by herself in a 3 beddy. She’s a really nice old lady, but still I’m sure someone else needs the space more than her

My mum was in a similar boat, living in a 4 bedroom house alone. For the past 4 years or so she tried to downsize by swapping with someone else, but every time she found someone she was told that the others were not entitled to the larger house, but under mums lease she was entitled to live there until she died. Anyway with the help of the previous housing minister she has managed to get herself one of the many brand new townhouses that have been built to specifically house older people. Moves in sometime soon.

I-filed 6:40 pm 25 Oct 10

The reality is that ACT Housing don’t give a fig about corruption because much of the housing funding comes from the federal government, and scrutiny is falling between the cracks. That is why they apparently have not updated their checking processes. Case in point: APS (federal) contractor earning $86,000 plus. Except for during the two periods a year when they are required to show their earnings to ACT Housing. Handily on welfare for those few weeks, and so pays about $50 a week rent for a $650,000 three-beddie (the kids have left home) in the inner city. THis has been going on now for four years, and I”m not sure whether the inner north housing manager is complicit or stupid. Don’t think for a minute that this isn’t replicated many times across Canberra.

Chop71 6:16 pm 25 Oct 10

Let me get this right….

Your husband works (although he has a mental illness) and you look after 2 children.
and you spend 1/2 your household income on rent.

Here is an option, go get some day care and get yourself a job.

Then you might be able to afford to rent a nicer property or even save for a deposit for a house of your own. If all this is just too hard then I suggest you move to an area where houses are more affordable … like Henty or Batlow or try Toowoomba, we may not hear you crying with you hand out from there.

If you could also add where you lived say 10 years ago and describe the housing conditions and ‘corruption’ and see if your live is better in Australia, then you can decide if you have made the right choice in migrating to Australia.

It is your life, you choose how to live it.
or you can keep doing the same thing and whinge about it year after year and expect someone else to fix it for you.

Genie 2:34 pm 25 Oct 10

If you can afford to rent privately, why should ACT Housing provide you with somewhere to live ?

I understand that half your partners salary is currently spent on rent and naturally you would like more to spend on other things. But what about the people who are alot more needy than you. I have a mate with a 2 year old child than has been on the emergency housing list for 18 months now. She has spent that time couch surfing and living in the Woman’s Shelter.

There simply isn’t enough houses to go around to the needy, because they are currently full of plenty of people who dont need them anymore. Re-analyze everyone in a Government house. My neighbour lives by herself in a 3 beddy. She’s a really nice old lady, but still I’m sure someone else needs the space more than her

ns 2:13 pm 25 Oct 10

Benaresq said :

Solidarity said :

“McKail Cres. and Cowcher Pl. in Stirling/Weston Creek %u2013 there are three ACT Housing houses standing unoccupied for over 10 months!!!”

Those are private.

It’s not up any more, but the development application to knock down the houses and replace them with apartments had ACT public housing on it.

Well if it had a DA on it then that explains why it was unoccupied doesn’t it? If they’re going to knock something down then it explains why they’d empty the house first.

Chop71 1:19 pm 25 Oct 10

Tiles falling off the wall = buy some glue

#$%^ me, do you expect others to do everything for you?

Furry Jesus 12:23 pm 25 Oct 10

“We are writing to you because we believe there is a huge waste of resources and corruption happening on at the ACT Housing. “

Where is the evidence for this?

ACT Housing properties standing vacant are certainly a thorn in the sides of anyone waiting for allocation, but this doesn’t translate to large numbers of empty public housing properties lying unused across the whole of Canberra. The waiting list is very long, and there are many people equally deserving as your family who have been waiting for longer.

Inefficiency in decision-making is more often to blame, as is the need to clean and upgrade internal fitout to older properties (e.g. electrical wiring, plumbing etc.) Sometimes properties in particular locations aren’t popular with tenants where they are close to other Housing tenants who can make life difficult for families with children (drug dealing and violence, for example). And properties which are home to or being reserved for people in gaol or in hospital or the Psychiatric Services Unit may be empty while the person isn’t around to be at home.

If there is a plan for the properties to be used in the near future, it’s not very helpful for people to be put in temporary housing, have the home furnished etc then to have to put them back on the street when the intended residents move back in.

Your circumstances sound dire, but you won’t win friends by complaining of corruption.

beejay76 12:01 pm 25 Oct 10

It sounds like you’re renting privately at the moment, is that correct? If so, you might like to have a talk to the tenant’s union at http://www.tenantsact.org.au/. They have excellent advice for tenants and (I think) do some advocacy work.

Shame about the long wait for public housing, but as other posters have mentioned, if you can afford private rent (even if it’s only barely) you will be low on the priority list for public housing. ACT Government have a couple of excellent schemes for getting people on low-to-moderate incomes into their own houses: Land Rent and OwnPlace. If you’re interested in those, the info is here: http://www.actaffordablehousing.com.au/home_ownership.html

Good luck!

Benaresq 11:47 am 25 Oct 10

Solidarity said :

“McKail Cres. and Cowcher Pl. in Stirling/Weston Creek %u2013 there are three ACT Housing houses standing unoccupied for over 10 months!!!”

Those are private.

It’s not up any more, but the development application to knock down the houses and replace them with apartments had ACT public housing on it.

Solidarity 11:14 am 25 Oct 10

“McKail Cres. and Cowcher Pl. in Stirling/Weston Creek %u2013 there are three ACT Housing houses standing unoccupied for over 10 months!!!”

Those are private.

bd84 11:03 am 25 Oct 10

Sorry, but what a load of crap. You are making wild and probably false accusations in a bid to cut in line infront of other families which have probably been waiting up to 5 years for a public housing property.

Yes there is a long waiting list for public housing, up to 5 years from memory and you will probably get generic “you’re on the list” advice from housing until that time. There are priority lists for urgent cases with special circumstances, if you provide the compelling reasons with supporting doctors evidence to Housing you could be put on that list. Given it sounds like your husband is able to hold down a full time job, it doesn’t sound like you would fit into the category. Tiles falling off a wall aren’t a reason, despite your attempt to make it sound like they are killer tiles jumping out at your daughter, get your landlord to fix them.

Also, you don’t even know that the properties you mentioned are even public housing, even if they were, they could be held for a specific purpose like demolition to build more properties. Either way, it would be very unlikely that the properties would be allocated to you.

Stop trying to push in and get on with your life as well as possible.

Frano 10:31 am 25 Oct 10

Unfortunately legitimate people in need are being turned away because certain individuals with high paying jobs are somehow in public housing??? Greens MLA Deb Fosky springs to mind….

Woody Mann-Caruso 10:06 am 25 Oct 10

Hi botto

Write a letter to the Zed Seselja (seselja@parliament.act.gov.au ) in his capacity as Shadow Minister for Housing, requesting that he ask these questions in the Legislative Assembly:

– how many people and families are currently waiting for public housing in the ACT?
– what’s the average time for people on the waiting list to be placed?
– are there three vacant public housing properties at the locations you describe, and have they really been vacant for 10 months?

JessicaNumber 9:58 am 25 Oct 10

The problem with the welfare system is that they make it so hard to get support that you basically have to become an expert in the welfare system. The people who could make the most use of that support to learn new skills and get back on their feet can either become full time welfare recipients or more likely are left struggling in poverty without food or a safe home, somehow to bootstrap themselves to success.

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