Joy Burch has put out a media release rejoicing in the following headline:
Housing ACT to use vacant properties to house homeless
Gosh golly, you don’t say? What on earth did they think they were doing before with their billions of dollars in assetts?
The ACT Government has made 12 vacant public housing properties available for crisis accommodation to assist families experiencing homeless, with more properties to follow.
ACT Minister for Housing Joy Burch said today that Housing ACT had widened the criteria for vacant stock eligible for its Transitional Housing Program to include properties that are guaranteed to be vacant for at least 6 weeks, rather than the previous threshold of 3 months.
The program provides for the use of vacant properties to accommodate persons or families experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The 12 properties come on top of 27 properties that Housing ACT was expected to deliver under the Program in 2010-11.
“These revised criteria mean we have an additional 12 properties across the ACT which can now be used to house families and individuals experiencing homelessness through the Transitional Housing Program,” Ms Burch said.
“These additional properties – 6 townhouses in Deakin and 6 stand-alone houses around Canberra – will be let for a minimum of 6 weeks with a view to link the families and individuals to support and stable accommodation.”
Ms Burch said the 12 properties are stock that has been slated for re-development or sale, and outreach support will be provided by specialist homelessness services in the community.
Not that the 12 properties will go far to house all of the Canberrans currently dossing with friends and family, but it’s a start.