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ACT Housing continues to house those not entitled

By Fayne - 14 September 2013 31

I was happy to hear that ACT Housing were asking people to leave or buy their house once their household income reached $80k.

However, I am disappointed that ACT housing are not enforcing this rule.

I know of a fulltime EL1, earning in excess of $100k who continues to live by herself in a four bedroom ACT Housing house in Mawson.

Being a nosy parker, I rang ACT Housing to report this situation, and was advised that ACT Housing will not force anyone to move, even to a smaller place; thus freeing up a family home.

I have family and friends who are sleeping rough. Also, I have friends who live in ACT Housing with three children in a 2 bedroom flat.

Why should a single woman keep a four bedroom house when she earns so much? The house is ideal for families, being close to schools the hospital and Woden Plaza.

Please be fair, ACT Housing. Children should not be enduring homelessness due to inability to enforce legislation.

What’s Your opinion?


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31 Responses to
ACT Housing continues to house those not entitled
JC 9:44 am 15 Sep 13

OpenYourMind said :

Even if rent reaches market value, I’ll bet each of those houses is still making a massive loss. The cost of a bunch of public servants administering a rental has got to be massive.

And if they weren’t getting market value the those losses would be even greater…

OpenYourMind 8:57 am 15 Sep 13

MissChief said :

Don’t know if the system is still the same but a few years ago when someone I know tried to downsize from her 4 bedroom govie, she was told she’d have to join the queue and wait for a smaller house. The queue for non emergency housing was several years.

I also understand that rent on govie houses increases with income up to market value, so it would be unfair to assume the person in question is getting a free ride. In fact, it’s more likely she’s saving the taxpayer, and at least the house isn’t at risk of being an exploding meth lab.

Even if rent reaches market value, I’ll bet each of those houses is still making a massive loss. The cost of a bunch of public servants administering a rental has got to be massive.

breda 4:34 am 15 Sep 13

The “market rents are subsidising the rest” argument is nonsense.

Firstly, the so-called “market rents” are significantly lower than real market rents. Remember the Greens politician who was living in a public, free-standing 3 bedroom house in Yarralumla? She was paying something like $300 per week, allegedly a “market rent.” You might just find a privately owned 1 bedroom flat in Yarralumla for $300 a week.

Secondly, it is assumed that private landlords make a profit on rents. Some do, but many don’t. Either they make bad decisions in what they paid for the property, or they are really after somewhere to park excess cash (an asset) with the hope of capital gain down the track.

Thirdly, all public housing represents taxpayer money. The assumption that governments should be in the real estate business (or any other business) using our money, in the hope that they will make a profit, is certainly the triumph of hope over experience – plus, it’s our money!

That money in the hands of private individuals and corporations (to whom it actually belongs) has the potential to generate real economic activity and wealth. We all know what happens to it once it disappears into the maw of government. The chance of that is vanishingly small, while the chance of waste and losses is correspondingly high.

plumtree 12:59 am 15 Sep 13

Being a nosy parker, I rang ACT Housing to report this situation, and was advised that ACT Housing will not force anyone to move, even to a smaller place; thus freeing up a family home…..is that what its called these days? It wascalled being a talebearer, telltale, tattler, informer, snitch, rat, squealer,nark and dobber .

banco 10:40 pm 14 Sep 13

They need a bedroom tax like they have in the UK. If you are in public housing and are single and have four bedrooms you pay a levy for the 3 empty bedrooms.

agent_clone 10:07 pm 14 Sep 13

thehutch said :

breda said :

For historical reasons, the ACT has (perhaps excluding SA) the highest proportion of public housing of any jurisdiction. It also has one of the highest average incomes.

It is not cost-free. When those of us not in public housing pay our rates or our rents, we are subsidising public housing – by way of foregone income from rates, free construction and maintenance, administrative overheads, fixing up places that have been trashed, and so on.
It runs into millions of dollars every year.

Public housing in the ACT needs root and branch reform, but every party seems to have a friend or a rellie who is living off the rest of us, so nothing substantive ever happens.

Without going in the specifics of this case, previously around 10% of Housing ACT tenants paid full rent (not subsidised). In comparison, a single person on Centrelink (newstart) may only pay $50-60per week. By moving all the full renters out of public housing, there will be a shortfall of revenue.

So whilst I agree with the principle that public housing should be for the needy and not people employed in 80K plus jobs, they are actually providing a stream of income to Housing ACT which is badly needed to fund the system.

There was some guy on a radio program on Radio National a few weeks ago discussing public housing. I think he was from the UK, basically what he said was that for social (public) housing you should have a combination of low and middle income tenants. The middle income tenants pay full rent and essentially subsidise the low income tenants. This way social housing is a lot more affordable for governments and they can have more of it, which in turn helps the waiting lists for social housing. It also helps destigmatise social housing.

Link to the program and the comment is at about 14:40
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/lifematters/affordable-housing-and-election-2013/4915994

MissChief 9:30 pm 14 Sep 13

Don’t know if the system is still the same but a few years ago when someone I know tried to downsize from her 4 bedroom govie, she was told she’d have to join the queue and wait for a smaller house. The queue for non emergency housing was several years.

I also understand that rent on govie houses increases with income up to market value, so it would be unfair to assume the person in question is getting a free ride. In fact, it’s more likely she’s saving the taxpayer, and at least the house isn’t at risk of being an exploding meth lab.

dtc 8:47 pm 14 Sep 13

JC said :

PS The new old people units leave a lot to be desired, so much so I have sent the housing minister a letter. One thing that has irked me is the garbage arrangements, as the rubbish bin is an industrial hopper. Not sure how they expect the oldies (who these places were designed for) are meant to hold a heavy lid up and then get a rubbish bag up 1m and up and over into the bin. Will be interesting to see what ACT housing has to say about it.

I’ll bet this comes down to it being the cheapest method for garbage collection (which is a surprisingly expensive activity) for the managers of the units, which of course has been contracted to the cheapest bidder who will point out the contract does not contain any restriction on the method of garbage collection and if the government wants to impose a different method then it will have to pay more money…

thehutch 8:10 pm 14 Sep 13

breda said :

For historical reasons, the ACT has (perhaps excluding SA) the highest proportion of public housing of any jurisdiction. It also has one of the highest average incomes.

It is not cost-free. When those of us not in public housing pay our rates or our rents, we are subsidising public housing – by way of foregone income from rates, free construction and maintenance, administrative overheads, fixing up places that have been trashed, and so on.
It runs into millions of dollars every year.

Public housing in the ACT needs root and branch reform, but every party seems to have a friend or a rellie who is living off the rest of us, so nothing substantive ever happens.

Without going in the specifics of this case, previously around 10% of Housing ACT tenants paid full rent (not subsidised). In comparison, a single person on Centrelink (newstart) may only pay $50-60per week. By moving all the full renters out of public housing, there will be a shortfall of revenue.

So whilst I agree with the principle that public housing should be for the needy and not people employed in 80K plus jobs, they are actually providing a stream of income to Housing ACT which is badly needed to fund the system.

LSWCHP 7:53 pm 14 Sep 13

Nobody will care, but I’ve supported myself since the age of 17. I’ve worked continuously for 34 years while educating myself part time, getting married, having kids, divorced, remarried etc. I’ve never been on the dole or relied on public funding in any way.

I understand that people can fall on hard times, and I support a strong social security network that helps those in need, but it seems like increasing numbers of Australians are relying on the gummint (ie me) to look after them and I don’t like that.

JC 5:39 pm 14 Sep 13

PS The new old people units leave a lot to be desired, so much so I have sent the housing minister a letter. One thing that has irked me is the garbage arrangements, as the rubbish bin is an industrial hopper. Not sure how they expect the oldies (who these places were designed for) are meant to hold a heavy lid up and then get a rubbish bag up 1m and up and over into the bin. Will be interesting to see what ACT housing has to say about it.

JC 5:36 pm 14 Sep 13

OP how long has this lady lived in this house? Reason I ask if it is a long time, then the lease may entitle her to live there regardless.

For example my old mum moved into a 4 bedroom government house in the late 70’s and her lease was basically non breakable. By the time all us kids moved out she tried to downsize, but found that quite hard. The reason being the only way to change was to swap, as a single person she was entitled to just a 1 bedroom place, and the people who wanted to swap with her had to be entitled to a 4 bedroom place, but as she was already there she was entitled to keep it.

What got her out of that house was Labors stimulus money which built a whole heap of units for the elderly, so she was able to put her name down for that and when built freeded up the 4 beddie. Which BTW has now more or less been destroyed by the new tenants.

breda 4:47 pm 14 Sep 13

For historical reasons, the ACT has (perhaps excluding SA) the highest proportion of public housing of any jurisdiction. It also has one of the highest average incomes.

It is not cost-free. When those of us not in public housing pay our rates or our rents, we are subsidising public housing – by way of foregone income from rates, free construction and maintenance, administrative overheads, fixing up places that have been trashed, and so on.
It runs into millions of dollars every year.

Public housing in the ACT needs root and branch reform, but every party seems to have a friend or a rellie who is living off the rest of us, so nothing substantive ever happens.

arescarti42 3:29 pm 14 Sep 13

Some people are just undeserving scum.

Best move on.

countach 11:27 am 14 Sep 13

There are many many ways for the undeserving to get free or nearly free housing from various government, and government funded agencies, not just ACT housing. If you waste your aggravation on all these situations, you’ll go crazy. Just pay your extortionate taxes, and be quiet like the government wants.

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