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Defying Empire commemorates the 50th anniversary of 1967 Referendum

Member of ACT Parliament maintains right to public housing

By Indi - 18 May 2005 21

I was astounded to hear that the Greens MLA is still maintaining the line that she has the ‘right’ to remain in public housing.

No laws/regulations are broken, yet ethically when someone purports to be standing up for Canberrans, particularly those who need to access social services such as public housing, you’d think there would be a realisation that you should offer the public house you live in, to someone who needs it more than you.

NSW govt have seen the writing on the wall and are set to alter policy on security of tenure. Eventually the ACT will have to face the same complex problem and make some tough decisions that will see disadvantaged people gain access to the most basic requirements – shelter.

What’s Your opinion?


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21 Responses to
Member of ACT Parliament maintains right to public housing
Canberra_unsung_hero 11:11 am 19 May 05

lol !

RandomGit 10:56 am 19 May 05

My guess is he disappeared in a puff of logic.

Canberra_unsung_hero 10:46 am 19 May 05

Speaking of ex-MLA’s ….did anyone ever hear what happened to that Dennis Stevenson of the Abolish Self Government Party ?

Thumper 9:38 am 19 May 05

Jazz,

We have a $90 million deficit and a government who has shown repeatedly that they are masters of mismanagement. They have already jacked up rates, have imposed parking everywhere, and I believe rego has gone up recently, as I had to pay yesterday.

I already pay a heap of taxes, direct and indirect. I was once in public housing, it helped me and my family get by until I could afford to buy my own place.

I am not advocating that everyone be immediately thrown out, but with an estimated 2000 on the waiting lists you have to wonder who needs priority housing more.

As well, there is some doubt as to whether it is 13% or 18%. One would hope its not 18% as that equates to one in five people.

I should add that market value rents, which the government keeps talking about, are not real market value rents. Yarralumbla is a perfect example whewre your minimum rent, and I have’nt checked this yet, would be around $400+ per week. (Correct me if I’m wrong.

Public housing is public housing. It is not there to make money for government. That is what taxation is for.

And as for Foskey’s future, she will get four years on $85K, which is about eight to ten years wages for most people. that is not what I call short term.

God, I’m sounding like a leftie…. *g*

Cheers mate…

Jazz 9:11 am 19 May 05

Thumper – you won’t find all ex MLA’s in high profile directorships. I know of one who is now driving taxi’s around brisbane. not exactly the glamour life that you might expect from former politicians.

as for Public Housing being a money making business venture. you’d bloody better hope it is. otherwise you’ll be paying considerably more tax than you are. 15-20% of all public housing tenants in ALL housing authorities in Australia are paying market rate. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are afluent millionaires.

Thumper 8:17 am 19 May 05

Dog,

You may be correct about Deb Foskey not being elected next time around, however, its rather hard to believe that as an ex MLA she will be back on the doll queue or behind a check out at Woolies.

Thumper 8:06 am 19 May 05

Interestingly I was at a function last night and went outside for a smoke. Who should have been standing there but Mr Hargreaves and one of his advisors and she was going to great pains to explain the 13% of high income earners and how they keep the public housing system afloat.

From my perspective Mr Hargreaves didn’t understand a word of it and has in my opinion he was none the wiser as to the issue and has no idea what he is talking about.

And just aside from the issue, Mr Hargeaves is, in my opinion, a terrible public speaker, mumbles, tells terrible jokes, loses his train of thought, and is simply boring.

johnboy 6:54 am 19 May 05

When people are sleeping in cars for lack of housing I think an MLA’s sense of entitlement to a public asset will be cold comfort to them.

loadedog 12:45 am 19 May 05

This is such an old, old argument, but for the benefit of the uninitiated, here are some of the reasons Deb Foskey is entitled to stay in her government dwelling.

Obtaining government housing can take up to 4 or 5 years. Deb Foskey’s current relative affluence is not assured beyond the next heart beat, let alone the next election. Once you give up a government dwelling, you go, should you require assistance again, to the back of the queue.

Must a person move house every time they get a job?

The government has a very sensible attitude to this. If people’s circumstances improve, they charge them more rent, up to the assessed market value of the property. Government housing shouldn’t be a profit-making venture, no, but there is nothing wrong in ACT Housing making a profit on some of their asset base to subsidise the rest.

Additionally, people are not ‘individual housing-consumption units’. It’s a little bit utilitarian to suggest that one house is better for Deb, purely because it is privately owned and not subsidised by the government (although there is that thing called negative gearing) without taking into account some of the things that housing means to people.

Some people, and one might think particularly those of a grass roots political persuasion, get involved in their local community. Some people get attached to their house, their street, the local park, and the local shopkeepers after many years. They may have invested much time, energy and even money to make their house suit their needs. Some people’s children have friends nearby, safe and trusted neighbours to seek help from, basically they have a neighbourhood.

Are we to forcibly remove a person from their community and home because their circumstances have improved temporarily? Given that their continued tenancy does no actual harm (assuming that the profit made on market rentals goes into providing extra housing – it should, and if it doesn’t it’s not Deb’s fault), who gives a proverbial?

Lastly, I think it’s great that at least one member of the Legislative Assembly may have an understanding of the issues facing public housing tenants from the inside. Maybe if they all had to do a 12 month stint down at Allawah Court it’d be a good thing.

johnboy 12:07 am 19 May 05

Charlie is sadly missed that’s true.

But until Housing ACT is focussed on providing low income and emergency housing (which it is not) then the rest of us are just mugs for not putting our own names on the list.

Formally re-focussing ACT Housing would be low cost and should be low priority.

If they need to rent out properties to pay their bills that’s fine but they should do it on the real open market and not some sort of sheltered community.

sk8erboi 12:02 am 19 May 05

Told you the wrong Green got elected, Charile was a decent bloke.

Canberra_unsung_hero 3:57 pm 18 May 05

Mike Welsh is talking about Deb Foskey on the Drive Show now — ( on 2CC ).

jr 2:46 pm 18 May 05

Greens who live in Government houses shouldn’t throw stones…

My heart bleeds for poor Deb Foskey on her $80K perks and all salary… obviously she would prefer to perpetuate the ‘housing stress’ by occupying a government house herself when she could easily find alternative accommodation on the open market freeing up the accommodation for someone who genuinely needs it.

I don’t see her supporting all those constituents she supposedly speaks for especially when she sprouts the bullshit you find on the ACT Greens website:

“Wed May 4: $30 million missing for affordable Housing
Deb Foskey, Greens MLA for Molonglo, says the ACT Budget has no good news for people on low incomes who are suffering ‘housing stress’ due to a shortage of affordable rental accommodation in the ACT.”

Perhaps we need to organise a rally or picket outside her house in Bailey Place Yarralumla until she gets the message loud and clear that she needs to walk the her own talk

Jon Reynolds

Canberra_unsung_hero 1:31 pm 18 May 05

I heard Mike Welsh on the Drive Show trying to convince Ms.Foskey why she shouldn’t be in a Government house yesterday, but Ms.Foskey was unrepentent, and claimed she had every right to be there, and ended hanging up on him — (That was on 2CC of course ).

Thumper 12:56 pm 18 May 05

I was particularly galled when I heard Deb Foskey say words to the effect that she and others like her were propping up the public housing by paying market rent.

When did public housing become a money making business venture?

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