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Housing ACT under the spotlight – Most needy out in the cold.

By johnboy - 28 January 2009 43

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has announced the release of its 07/08 reports into public housing nationally.

The public rental housing report allows us to make some interesting comparisons. If we had an opposition good for more than sipping coffee and working on its tan they’d already have mined some nuggets but here’s what leapt out at me (feel free to take a look and share your own thoughts.

On p3 The ACT is listed as having 877 “New applicants on waiting list who have a ‘greatest need'” out of a total waiting list of 1,859, or 47%. NSW by comparison has 2,214 greatest need applicants waiting out of a total list of 49,950 or 4%.

That’s one hell of a difference and most of the other States are in the NSW ballpark.

I wonder how the large number of high income earners sitting pretty in their “security of tenure” govvies sleep at night knowing they’re forcing 877 families in “greatest need” out into the cold?

What’s Your opinion?


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43 Responses to
Housing ACT under the spotlight – Most needy out in the cold.
VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 4:22 pm 29 Jan 09

That $10-20 a week means $500-1000 a year. If you are in public housing I’d have thought a thousand bucks a year could be better spent than buying Foxtel.

I’m not saying these people can’t have any recreation, but Foxtel is a luxury.

caf 4:15 pm 29 Jan 09

Foxtel costs between about $10 to $20 a week depending on what channels you’re buying, which is not really in the ballpark of rents, is it now?

You may not think its a great look, but if you start down that road you might as well say that public housing tenants shouldn’t eat takeaway, or go to the movies, or do any of the other little recreational things that cost around the same or less. Seems ridiculous to me.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 3:41 pm 29 Jan 09

Gee, public housing tenants who have to choose between Foxtel or a second car. They sound real hard up! Neither of these things are necessities in my books.

miz 1:06 pm 29 Jan 09

Or, Market = those who have make mutual arrangements to get more of same and set up systems to keep on excluding those who don’t

Government = system approved by the majority to ensure the assisting those those who do not have what is deemed to be necessities, for the benefit of all (so they do not commit crimes to survive).

30 years ago, tv, phone would not be considered a necessity. They are now. Maybe not foxtel, though . . . but perhaps those people really love sport and have made a choice to go without eg a second car (or sim decision made about their discretionary income).

jakez 9:56 am 29 Jan 09

miz said :

Given the economic climate, I wouldn’t be surprised if public housing was re-discovered as a way to keep people housed and off the street. I think we have all woken up to the fact that the market does NOT solve everything, and a half-decent society looks after its own.

Market (a group of people voluntarily engaging with one another to achieve diverse objectives (eg, icecream manufacturing, charity) = not society

Government (an institution holding a monopoly on force and funded through compulsorily acquired taxation thus meaning people are free of actually having to choose to help their neighbour) = society looking after its own

…umm what?

powell01 9:28 am 29 Jan 09

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

Why should people have tenure? It’s a public resource – you use it when in need and then move on once you’ve sorted yourself, much like other forms of social security.

Gee, brings to mind the three families I know of personally in govvie housing that have foxtel, broadband etc. Two of them even have foxtel in 2 rooms in the house. If I was paying their rent instead of what the market dictates, then maybe I could afford it all too.

If you can afford foxtel\subscription tv, you do not “need” to be on the housing welfare train.

miz 12:15 am 29 Jan 09

Ratepayers? I think you’ll find that most, if not all, of the money for ACT Housing comes from a federal grant under the CSHA (Cth-State Housing Agreement). All Australian States and Territories are beneficiaries. If there were no public housing, many people would not be able to manage, which would create far more serious social problems for many more people than the whining of a few comfortable neo-conservatives . . .

Given the economic climate, I wouldn’t be surprised if public housing was re-discovered as a way to keep people housed and off the street. I think we have all woken up to the fact that the market does NOT solve everything, and a half-decent society looks after its own.

I-filed 7:03 pm 28 Jan 09

miz said :

There’s no sec of tenure any more, remember? If you have a spare room, out you go.
(No wonder private rental is impossible)

You are kidding Miz. Inner north family of five people is STILL occupying 10 bedrooms in $1.8 million dollars worth of ACT Housing property (three houses).

Poor things were asked to give up a further one-bedroom flat they were occupying. Only because ACT Housing noticed that the same single occupant was somehow occupying an entire three-bedroom house AND a government flat! Did they ask him to vacate the three-beddy? No. He was allowed to keep the house!

No choice but to suck it up, ratepayers.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 3:40 pm 28 Jan 09

And I’m not convinced that ACT Housing should be looking to make a profit – their job is to house the needy.

Exactly. And moving on people who can afford to pay market rent means they would have fewer clients and less work to get through, and would thus cost us less to run the service.

sepi 3:35 pm 28 Jan 09

I wonder how the other states manage to get people to move out once they are no longer in need?

And I’m not convinced that ACT Housing should be looking to make a profit – their job is to house the needy.

Skidbladnir 2:49 pm 28 Jan 09

Yes, ACT Public Housing is nasty, cheap, overcrowded, and underresourced…

There -is- a govt program which is designed to increase rental housing stock, and encourage institutions to create large-scale property consortia to rent to lower-income families through rental subsidies.
Making it wierdly hybridised public-private housing stock…

caf 2:18 pm 28 Jan 09

We should be careful not to create a disincentive to sorting yourself out, though.

I also feel it should be pointed out that as an investment property owner, it’s in your interest to boot people from public housing.

bd84 2:13 pm 28 Jan 09

You do realise that those people with an income above the threshold pay market rent for their properties? It’s actually more profitable for Housing ACT to have full market renters in some of the properties because it allows them to put the extra money towards the purchase of new houses. This in turn allows someone paying, for example, $60 a fortnight to live in a house with a market rate of $400.

They have programs in place now anyway to encourage and assist people earning the threshold consistently to purchase the property or to move to a smaller house if the house is too big.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 2:04 pm 28 Jan 09

Why should people have tenure? It’s a public resource – you use it when in need and then move on once you’ve sorted yourself, much like other forms of social security.

miz 1:36 pm 28 Jan 09

There’s no sec of tenure any more, remember? If you have a spare room, out you go.
(No wonder private rental is impossible)

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