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Public Housing gets a hurry up

By johnboy - 20 April 2007 89

The ABC reports that, with the ALP Left firmly chastised, the ACT Government is going to give public housing tenants earning over $80,000 one year to buy the property or get out.

Personally I’d prefer to see the 25% of income rental just left uncapped, which would let the big earners decide for themselves if they wanted to keep paying thousands in rent. But at least the spectacle of people sleeping on the streets while the lucky wealthy few squat in public subsidised housing is soon to be at an end.

The ACT’s most famous high income (former) occupant of public housing, Deb Foskey, is very angry indeed accusing the Government of being stealth Liberals.

What’s Your opinion?

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89 Responses to
Public Housing gets a hurry up
miz 8:45 am 21 Apr 07

That’s partly my point Johnboy. This kind of policy affects people like me that, at this stage is assessed as ‘someone who needs it’ as I earn under the stipulated income. It acts as a massive stressor, and will affect their decisions.

johnboy 8:40 am 21 Apr 07

I don’t care.

Give the house to someone who needs it.

miz 8:38 am 21 Apr 07

And why would I go for a promotion at work? A few dollars extra in the pocket, but no home. You do the math. This is a policy that has built-in economic and social-capital consequences.

johnboy 8:36 am 21 Apr 07

Miz, seperate incomes are taxed seperately


miz 8:31 am 21 Apr 07


I should explain that the new policy does not simply impose the $80K thing, it also wants to pressurise people into moving into a smaller place (uprooting them from their community and removing them from their HOME because they now live in a house with a spare bedroom).

Firstly Jemmy, you do realise that they count all income, including that of teenagers working at Maccas or on an apprenticeship wage, Youth Allowance, Centrelink family payments etc? You do realise they calculate on gross income?

$80,000 gross (one earner) is taxed at 42%, leaving $46,400 per annum. While this may be fine if you are the only householder relying on this money, it is a different story for larger households.

If you have a HECS debt and you therefore pay more tax, you are not in a position to go and secure a loan.

Do YOU ask your casually employed teenagers to chip in to the rent/house repayments or other bills? You would have to if you were forced into a mortgage or private rental that does not cap on income were your circumstances to change.

Do you want to live next door to govie houses that are increasingly neglected because tenants can’t afford to do more than the basics (as they will no longer be ‘working poor’ but will be benefit recipients)? This policy will devalue your neighbourhood and change the face of Canberra.

The Henderson Poverty Line works on disposable income (after tax) and general standards of living (ie cope with what is considered the basics in Australia). It shows that there clearly needs a consideration of how many people are living on the money, not just a line in the sand.

See here

Furthermore, it is good for the Canberra conomy to have a little to spend over and above the basics.

When I was solely on benefits, I could not afford the internet, could hardly run my car, could hardly afford essentials let alone extras with the best budgeting will in the world. I never bought a coffee, never bought new shoes, never smoked or went out for a drink. I do not earn $80K now but I now pay full rent in my govie. I am able to pay my way, look after this house well, and I try to buy local.

This new Housing policy means householders like me are going to have to constantly worry about money, and whether their decisions are going to jeopardise their HOME. Why would any prospective boyfriend move in AND have to take on a mortage (because suddenly you are forced to buy your home)? That’s a whole different level of commitment.

Jemmy, no one is saying the govt has to support adult children, but these are people’s homes, not temporary homeless shelters. It is normal for late-teen early twenties children to go flatting for a bit then move back in a few times. Now people will have to worry about whether the decisions of their TEENAGERS will impact on their home security!


jemmy 7:32 am 21 Apr 07

Miz, they’re talking about households earning $80,000 for fark’s sake. Definitely no disadvantaged in that lot.

I’ll go out on a limb and say that a couple earning $80,000 has better life skills than many (most?) and doesn’t need my taxes to support them.

Garden? Buy another one with the $80,000.

If your house is too big for you, they don’t recompense you, instead you say to them “Thank you for helping me when I needed it, and now that I don’t here is the house for someone who needs it more.”

Boomerang kids? Riiiight, I should support your adult children… Chuck the lazy little buggers out on their ears to fend for themselves, it’ll build their characters.

Honestly, I thought the concept of people believing their *entitled* to my taxes was ACA myth, but after this post, I’m not so sure.

miz 6:56 pm 20 Apr 07

And surely they can’t implement this retrospectively?

miz 6:55 pm 20 Apr 07


miz 6:54 pm 20 Apr 07

Are they asking how many people are living on the $80,000 (gross)? Are they looking at whether the earner has enough earning years to pay off a mortgage? What if the bank won’t lend you the money to buy? What about security of tenure? What about single mums who meet someone – the new boyfriend can’t move in as the woman will get kicked out? What about insecure work that may earn you $80,000 one year but not the next? Then you are back on the Housing List. And where are the private rentals you can move into? what about all the work I have done on my garden – if they decide my house is too big for me, how do they recompense me? What about parents with share care? What about boomerand adult children? These are just some of the questions I have.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with 3:51 pm 20 Apr 07

I prefer the uncapped rent idea. If those on good incomes are silly enough (either by choice or lack of financial management ability) to live in govco housing, why not make them pay reasonable rent? At least the public purse benfits a bit, and the tenants are encouraged to move on.

Maelinar 2:45 pm 20 Apr 07

it would be interesting to count the cost, over time, of the subsiding of full market renters and where the shortfall of $$ will come from as a result of this lost income

How valuable is an entire house compared to a years rent ?

What is the better comparison, an apple or an orange ?

Housing ACT is a dependency based organisation, by not having to provide an extra house, the market rent piffle they would have earned from that house will save them money.

bonfire 2:34 pm 20 Apr 07

omg – an act alp policy that makes sense.

i think hell just froze over.

this also comes just a day after they announced the time travelling belco busway was offically dead.

Ralph 2:18 pm 20 Apr 07

Interesting to see what arrangements are put in place for tenants to buy their properties, especially those in desirable locations.

Indi 2:05 pm 20 Apr 07

I’ll take a stab here and say…Dr Foskey must be most upset that she missed out on this program on offer allowing tenants to enter into a Shared Equity loan with Housing ACT that would have helped her secure a piece of prime real estate by Yarralumla Bay.

Logically if you can sell a property to a tenant (who then maintains tenure by purchasing a property from Housing) and then reinvest the proceeds into providing another person with a home then everyone wins…

Good luck to Housing ACT with the long haul to appeasing the ‘softheads’ – it would be interesting to count the cost, over time, of the subsiding of full market renters and where the shortfall of $$ will come from as a result of this lost income – ACT Treasury?

Fiona 2:02 pm 20 Apr 07

I wonder what sort of prices the public housing will have if people DO want to buy their homes…

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