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Public Housing – for people who need it

By Indi - 13 May 2005 28

I’d heard on the wireless this morning that the Greens MLA from the ACT Parliament is residing in public housing. Isn’t this a bit ‘rich’ coming from someone proclaiming to stand up for the ‘battler’, yet occupying a home that could be given to someone in real need.

Sounds like a failed government policy….the Chief Minister doesn’t really sound interested in accommodating people with real housing needs, and by the way, it’s ok for someone earning good money (eg. parliamentarian) to remain in public housing for life!

What’s Your opinion?

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28 Responses to
Public Housing – for people who need it
Canberra_unsung_hero 4:24 pm 15 May 05

LurkerGal said —

it shits me that people who can afford normal housing are the reason I was told that my daughter and I would have to sleep in my car for 12 months.

Hmmmmm…….that certainly would give you the shits… especially if you had to sleep in your car for that long !

LurkerGal 3:27 pm 15 May 05

exhorbitant. sorry.

LurkerGal 3:23 pm 15 May 05

And yet when I was evicted from my place because the owners wanted to move in, and had left my job for health reasons and had a child,I was told I would have a MINIMUM 12 month wait for accommodation. I could be put up in a womens’ refuge for 2 nights, and then I was on my own. I asked if I would have to sleep in my car, and was told by my case officer “well that’s what many people do”.

I was lucky, because despite being told by a medical specialist that working could kill me, or at the very least put me back in hospital (I have no family here, and would have been completely screwed, as where would my child go???), I ignored them and found a temporary job. Bearing in mind that I had was highly skilled and therefore COULD get a job. many can’t.

I’m still alive, and now on a very good income in permanent work, and paying market rent. However, it shits me that people who can afford normal housing are the reason I was told that my daughter and I would have to sleep in my car for 12 months.

Oh, and also, after the 12 months, I was told I could now have a house. Despite my income being above $50k. I damn my honesty every day the exhorbinat amount of rent money comes out of my bank account, but that’s just the way I am. I didn’t want to be responsible for someone else who couldn’t get out of the position I had previously been in.

johnboy 11:41 am 14 May 05

Jacqui Burke has put out a silly media release in which she too mistakenly claims ACT Housing is intended to provide housing to the needy.

But she’s getting close and might, by the next election, be able to actually make an issue of it.

ACT Housing assets are measured with a B for Billion, sorting out what the hell all that money is supposed to be acheiving would be a VERY GOOD THING.

johnboy 10:42 pm 13 May 05

Deb Foskey is, within her own terms of reference, behaving entirely ethically.

Many people on the left (including former prime minister Ben Chifley) regard private home ownership as a bad thing. At no point in ACT Housing’s philosophy is it devoted to low income housing.

You, and I, might argue that maybe it should be focussed in this way, but it is no fault of Deb Foskey’s that it is not.

Personally I think that if ACT housing is reliant on renting out 20% of its stock at market rates it is not being financed properly.

A better outcome would be achieved by inviting those on “market rents” to take out a mortgage and buy the place (on attractive terms) or they can move out into the “real” market and free space for people in genuine need.

That’s my view.

But to be fair to Deb Foskey she is being consistent with her own ethical framework.

I wouldn’t vote for her on that basis, but that’s another matter.

Canberra_unsung_hero 8:27 pm 13 May 05

I gots my own house (and I don’t have to share it with anyone ).

seepi 5:26 pm 13 May 05

It may be true that the govt need this money, but it doensn’t make it right.
I thought people could stay once they got an income, in case they lost it again. Someone with a 3 year solid income should have to move out, so that families living out of cars etc that we read about can move in.

Jazz 4:48 pm 13 May 05

as a former employee of housing ACT i could probably reveal all sorts of goings on inside the machine. in this case however i’ll limit my comment to saying that if it weren’t for the 19% of public housing tenants (of which this mla would appear to be one) then the entire system would collapse from lack of funding. Its the full paying tenants that keep the rest afloat.

Evictor 4:23 pm 13 May 05

Housing charge a market rent for every house they own. Some of them are ridiculously high (Northbourne Flats at $260) for the flea pits they are.
They only become cheap when you bring a rebate into play. MLA would not be eligibile for a rebate, ergo they pay full market rent, ergo gummint coffers fill more than they otherwise would with the $30 a week pensioners and their rebated rent.

Thumper 4:22 pm 13 May 05

I think from memory, and this could have been a while ago, that local MLAs get somewhere over the $80K mark.

Public housing? Well, its not actually breaking any rules but considering the Greens are always banging on about ethics, its then extremely unethical.

Ironic and hypercritical also spring quickly to mind.

simto 3:53 pm 13 May 05

Just out of interest (and so that this argument makes a bit more sense) – what is the actual annual salary of an MLA? I’m guessing it is substantial, hence the weirdness of them living in public housing, but since I don’t actually know, I can’t be entirely sure.

I vaguely remember that local councillor wages (and that’s really what the Legislative assembly is – a jumped-up local council) aren’t particularly large at all, hence why people doing such jobs tend to continue doing other buisinesses on the side (and incidentally, leading to a fair chunk of local government conflict of interest and corruption).

Indi 3:19 pm 13 May 05

It doesn’t appear that an MLA living in public housing would constitute breaking the rules.

But from an ethical perspective, how could you continue to reside in a home that is really meant to be there for another family who simply cannot afford any other housing option?

RandomGit 2:58 pm 13 May 05

A socailist acting like a capitalist when he makes profit on a socialist policy.


Thats more political sensibility in one sentence than I’ve expressed in my entire life. Ewwww!

che 2:54 pm 13 May 05

did anyone else hear about this today? or are we just propagating rumours? (not that that is necessarily bad, I heard there was an EKO at work today for instance so have a good weekend)

Spitfire3 2:48 pm 13 May 05

According to the comrade, one of the reasons they allow it to happen is because they get good rental revenue out of it. I’d like to know if this is really the case – does the gub’t get a higher rental out of people who can afford it (like parliamentarians) than they would have got (for the same house) from a family living on the dole?

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