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Public Housing not an unconditional home for life?

By johnboy 15 March 2012 120

The Age has the long overdue news that the ACT Government is going to move to turf high income earners out of public housing.

The ACT Government is powerless to force middle-class households out of government homes, despite thousands of families being on the waiting lists.

Instead, housing bureaucrats can only ask tenants on more than $80,000 per year to ”reconsider” their continued presence in public housing.

But Housing Minister Joy Burch is considering legislative changes to send a message that public housing is not an unconditional home for life.

Roslyn Dundas from the ACT Council of Social Services predictably thinks this idea is not so great.

UPDATE 15/03/12 12:00: The Greens are not at all happy about the proposals:

ACT Greens Health spokesperson, Amanda Bresnan MLA, has described the ACT Government’s proposal to take market renters out of public housing as lacking a long-term vision for public housing.

“The Government is proposing an extremely short term solution to Housing ACT’s long waiting list. There also is no detail at all about how they would replace the revenue lost from those paying market rent,” Ms Bresnan said.

“In most of these cases we are probably talking about single, middle aged to older women, with very little superannuation. We need to think about what will happen to them in the long term.

“We also face the situation where if tenants believe they will be evicted once they earn a certain income, they could choose to stay in their home and earn a lower income. This is counterproductive to the aim of giving people stability and the ability to be a contributing member of the community.

“Tenants who can get to the stage of paying market rent in Housing ACT properties are able to subsidise those other tenants on low incomes.

“Evicting market renters will only make the Housing ACT portfolio more unviable. The Government needs to show the cost of replacing this revenue. There was no accounting for this in the Public Housing Asset Management Strategy that was just released late last year.

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Public Housing not an unconditional home for life?
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Genie 6:29 pm 19 Mar 12

Sorry to double post.. but the next ‘related story’ http://the-riotact.com/public-housing-gets-a-hurry-up/4726 is from 2007. Talking about public housing tenants earning over 80k a year have a year to buy the house or move out…. WHY on earth 5 years later has nothing been done ????

Genie 6:28 pm 19 Mar 12

Some of the people in government housing do work and do the right thing, and for people like that the government should implement something like the old housing trust where they can purchase there government house, then housing can replace those homes. They also need to toughen up on things like the penaltys for damage to the homes ect.

But can we please remember that not all people in government housing are bludgers, some work probably low income but never the less they work and contribute to society. And guess what also pay taxes, so I think that some people need to get off their high horses and realize that they are not the only tax payers out there.

I also know a woman who is in a government house who has 2 children herself, one has a sever disability and needs constant care, so this woman is unable to work due to this reason, but she felt like she was not contributing to society so she started doing emergeny foster care, she has children of all ages from various situations, on a short term basis until they can be place into permanent foster care or in some cases adopted, people who contribute to society in such a special way certainly do not deserved to be called bludgers.

Supamum – No one cares about those people doing the RIGHT thing because the sad reality is that they are probably the minority. What gets on peoples nerves are the actual bludgers.. those who just rort the system to get a ‘free’ house for life. Or ‘free’ money for life.

I love my elderly neighbour, but there are 3 government houses in my street, hers included that are 3 or more bedrooms and only have 1 person living in it and yes they have all lived in their houses for more than 10 years, but there are families who need those houses. There are probably families squeezed into a 1 or 2 bedroom unit that they can simply ‘swap’. But this won’t happen because the Government won’t ‘uproot’ someone who had lived in their house for that long. Those people have to willingly give up their house. It’s just insane.

I watched a mate leave her abusive husband with her 18month old child in tow and spent the next 6 months couch surfing and living at the woman’s shelter because there was no emergency housing. 2 years later she has since moved interstate where she could afford rent and is STILL on that waiting list.

Dilandach 5:20 pm 18 Mar 12

Watson said :

Genie said :

Or go work and save money like the rest of us tax payers and rent privately or buy a house.

What a novel idea?! I bet no one else has ever thought of that.

It sickens me that there are so many who think that kids should be punished for being stupid enough to being born to stupid parents.

I think it is sad that people live their whole lives on welfare. They’ve tried various stick and carrot strategies to change this and as far as I know, none of them made much of a difference. But I strongly believe that we have a responsibility to every child in our community. Unless we legalise child labour and allow them to try get out of the misery without our assistance.

They have not tried any ‘stick’ policies, they’ve just been differing sizes of ‘carrot’. A true courageous move would be to use the stick against those currently to prevent future generations from suffering. Would you condemn 10 to save 100? Or would you insist that every single one needs to be treated equally regardless of the suffering that is inflected on everyone in doing so?

Its about the larger picture and future consequences.

Watson 11:06 am 18 Mar 12

Genie said :

Or go work and save money like the rest of us tax payers and rent privately or buy a house.

What a novel idea?! I bet no one else has ever thought of that.

It sickens me that there are so many who think that kids should be punished for being stupid enough to being born to stupid parents.

I think it is sad that people live their whole lives on welfare. They’ve tried various stick and carrot strategies to change this and as far as I know, none of them made much of a difference. But I strongly believe that we have a responsibility to every child in our community. Unless we legalise child labour and allow them to try get out of the misery without our assistance.

blimkybill 10:57 am 18 Mar 12

Actually the couple in that article would be receiving (not earning) way more than $20k per annum. Family Tax Benefit A alone would be about $24,500 plus the large family supplement. Family Tax Benefit B would also be about $20k. Assuming the father is on Newstart he’d be gtting another $12k and the mother would be getting Parenting Payment which would be another $11k. Altogether that family is receiving at least $68,000 in welfare payments. I assume they don’t get rent assistance as they’re in public housing, but you never know.

Sure $68k isn’t a huge amount to live on with a big family, but it is substantially more that the $20k claimed in the article – presumably the journo was too thick to realise that they would be getting family payments on top of their income support.

So there you go Riot-Acters, your taxes at work.

Those figures aren’t quite right. Family Tax Benefit B is only paid once, not once per child, so the amount would be $4K not $20K. The total family income would be around $51K. i don’t know how much of that they would pay in rent. It’s still quite a lot but we should get our facts right.

Brianna 10:17 am 18 Mar 12

jimbocool said :

Genie said :

Fender said :

CT has an interesting piece on the subject.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/when-five-kids-isnt-a-crowd-20120315-1v8l6.html
Not sure what I think about it but “quality journalism” is not a word that springs to mind.

This article really gets on my nerves and I have to say what most people are thinking.
This family is crying poor because they have 5 children and are only in a 3 beddy house an earning less than $20k per annum.
.

Actually the couple in that article would be receiving (not earning) way more than $20k per annum. Family Tax Benefit A alone would be about $24,500 plus the large family supplement. Family Tax Benefit B would also be about $20k. Assuming the father is on Newstart he’d be gtting another $12k and the mother would be getting Parenting Payment which would be another $11k. Altogether that family is receiving at least $68,000 in welfare payments. I assume they don’t get rent assistance as they’re in public housing, but you never know.

Sure $68k isn’t a huge amount to live on with a big family, but it is substantially more that the $20k claimed in the article – presumably the journo was too thick to realise that they would be getting family payments on top of their income support.

So there you go Riot-Acters, your taxes at work.

So nice to know that there is someone else out there who understands and comprehends just how many dollars that family is receiving.

SnapperJack 10:09 am 18 Mar 12

Looks like we’ve finally made it. Today Tonight on Thursday did a story on “the public housing scandal” where “the rich are getting priority over the poor”. They said that Canberra is the only place where public housing tenants have a house for life.

breda 4:11 am 18 Mar 12

The bottom line is, the wealthiest jurisdiction in Australia has got the highest percentage of subsidised housing, for historical reasons.

People need to realise that ACT Housing’s concept of ‘market rent’ is way below what workers on low incomes have to pay because they are not on the gravy train. Getting into public housing is like winning the lottery – you never have to leave, no matter what – a luxury which even people paying mortgages, let alone private renters, do not have. If you claim to have ‘mental health’ or ‘substance abuse’ issues and turn your immediate environment into a criminal slum – bad luck for your unfortunate neighbours, who may well be battlers that deserve housing support.

Between the lowlife rorters and the middle class spongers, no wonder people in genuine need can’t get affordable housing.

As for the Greens, they continue with their unbroken record of economic illiteracy and self interest. Firstly, the notion that selected people should be subsidised to the tune of thousands of dollars a year in case something bad happens in their lives is so idiotic that one can only assume that close family or friends are involved. Secondly, they seem to think that the way forward is to promise free money to pay for their absurd schemes. Do any of them have the faintest awareness of what is happening in Europe, and why?

supamum 11:39 pm 17 Mar 12

Genie said :

I think I’m inclined to agree with the people stating that if you’re already on welfare and have another child… why should the government automatically up their centrelink payments !

If I were to have a child my pay would be CUT not increased.

In all honestly, the Government needs to get out there and completely revamp all these stupid legislations that are too old and barely applicable to today’s society. They also need to spend the money hiring additional staff to review EVERY SINGLE PERSON who receives Centrelink or lives in a Government house. It shouldn’t matter if someone has lived in a house for 10-20+ years. If they got their house 20 years ago when they had 3 kids, and since then the kids have moved out, why should they be living in a 3+ beddy house. They are no longer entitled to it. They can easily be moved into something smaller.

As for the opposite.. If you got a 3 bedroom Government house 5 years ago when you were unemployed and only had 2 c
hildren and now have say 5 children.. TOUGH ! Wait your 3 1/2+ years for a swap. Or go work and save money like the rest of us tax payers and rent privately or buy a house.

Genie I agree with most of what you are saying, especially about each individual/family needing to be assed individually. I feel that the people in government housing who are doing the right thing sometimes seem to have it harder than thoes who are doing the wrong thing, that’s where individual assessments would be effective. In some cases people receiving centrelink and in government housing are finincially better off not working, because after rent increase, Childcare costs ect they would be in a similar finincial position, which is where centrelink and housing ect need to make changes, otherwise these people will not find work or change their situation. Something like ok you haven’t worked for 2 years, you have 3 months to find suitable employment or work for the dole or loose you payments.

Some of the people in government housing do work and do the right thing, and for people like that the government should implement something like the old housing trust where they can purchase there government house, then housing can replace those homes. They also need to toughen up on things like the penaltys for damage to the homes ect.

But can we please remember that not all people in government housing are bludgers, some work probably low income but never the less they work and contribute to society. And guess what also pay taxes, so I think that some people need to get off their high horses and realize that they are not the only tax payers out there.

I also know a woman who is in a government house who has 2 children herself, one has a sever disability and needs constant care, so this woman is unable to work due to this reason, but she felt like she was not contributing to society so she started doing emergeny foster care, she has children of all ages from various situations, on a short term basis until they can be place into permanent foster care or in some cases adopted, people who contribute to society in such a special way certainly do not deserved to be called bludgers.

Genie 7:26 pm 17 Mar 12

I think I’m inclined to agree with the people stating that if you’re already on welfare and have another child… why should the government automatically up their centrelink payments !

If I were to have a child my pay would be CUT not increased.

In all honestly, the Government needs to get out there and completely revamp all these stupid legislations that are too old and barely applicable to today’s society. They also need to spend the money hiring additional staff to review EVERY SINGLE PERSON who receives Centrelink or lives in a Government house. It shouldn’t matter if someone has lived in a house for 10-20+ years. If they got their house 20 years ago when they had 3 kids, and since then the kids have moved out, why should they be living in a 3+ beddy house. They are no longer entitled to it. They can easily be moved into something smaller.

As for the opposite.. If you got a 3 bedroom Government house 5 years ago when you were unemployed and only had 2 children and now have say 5 children.. TOUGH ! Wait your 3 1/2+ years for a swap. Or go work and save money like the rest of us tax payers and rent privately or buy a house.

devils_advocate 4:45 pm 17 Mar 12

supamum said :

What about people who genuinely cannot have this “shot” mandatory hysterectomy or mandatory abortion?

80th-trimester abortion FTW.

devils_advocate 3:41 pm 17 Mar 12

MWF said :

It’s actually kind of creepy that the people totally dependent on welfare are finanically abled by govt. assistance to breed more than those of us who work and earn.

Mike Judge actually made a movie with this as the premise, it’s called “Idiocracy” and the starting sequence shows the adverse selection process. It was a great premise for a movie but not executed particularly well. You may get a laugh out of it though. Two laughs, max.

supamum 2:06 pm 17 Mar 12

supamum said :

HenryBG said :

supamum said :

HenryBG said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

If you read my previous posts you would have noticed that I agree intergenerational employment is a big problem.

I don’t know what the answer is, ,..

I do: Welfare should be provided only to those who can provide doctors’ certificates demonstrating that they are fully up-to-date with their contraceptive shots – thus ensuring no child is born into a state of welfare-dependent poverty.

Very simple.

BTW my above post refers to your comments too… But I guess you think living as an ignoramus is blissful.

Yes, how ignoramus-like of me to overlook the obvious possibility that this useless bludging couple “living on $20,000/year” have suffered 5 instances of “contraception failure”.

As far as your situation goes, it appears that you’ve chosen to have a baby with a scrounging criminal. Apparently you want a medal for it?

I noticed your comment: “Some of us are well educated, from good family’s ect. ”
Here’s a hint: people who really *are* well-educated paid attention for the full 10 minutes on the day apostrophe usage was taught and can as a result successfully use an apostrophe. People like you did whatever it is you people did in the back of the classroom in lieu of learning.

Just to clarify; I did not have a child with a criminal, that’s was in reference to someone else’s post. I am a widow. For the record, I was educated at the best private school in the state, and hold a university degree. My use of apostrophes or the lack of is a very trivial point, especially considering I am posting via an iPhone.

My point to you was in reference to the comment you made about government enforced contraceptive shots, in some circumstances pregnancy is a result of something totally uncontrolable, what do you suggest in this instance? Government inforced abortion?

I do agree that in the instance of the family with five children, that it is highly unlikely that they were all the result of contraceptive failure. I just don’t agree that mandatory contraceptive shots (there’s only one type of contraceptive administered by a “shot” or needle, and it has numerous side effects some quiet serious. There is a percentage of people who cannot use this method of contraceptive) are even an option. What about people who genuinely cannot have this “shot” mandatory hysterectomy or mandatory abortion?

I don’t know why I’m even responding as we both know it would never happen in this country.

In addition after reading your post again, my use or lack of an apostrophe is irrevelavant when you didn’t even realize that to be grammatically correct it should have been spelt families. Wonder what a person like you was doing on that day at school?

GardeningGirl 1:02 pm 17 Mar 12

Rephrasing my previous post, it seems ridiculous that in an era when more reliable contraception is available SOME people who are the most dependent on government assistance are having larger families (trying not to make generalisations about all families with kids who are living in guvvie housing, I grew up in one myself).

GardeningGirl 12:55 pm 17 Mar 12

I’m not comfortable with the idea of government enforced contraception methods, but there seemed to more correlation between size of families and what people could afford in previous generations so it seems ridiculous that in an era when more reliable contraception is available the people most dependent on government assistance are having larger families. If couples paying off mortgages can successfully make the decision to postpone having a baby or another baby until the interest rate drops or would-be mum reaches eligibility for long service leave to help with time off after the birth or whatever, then why can’t public housing tenants postpone enlarging their families until they improve their circumstances? Perhaps there needs to be stronger disincentives like knowing that government assistance cuts out at a certain point, eg having another baby does not get you a bigger guvvie?

nyssa1976 11:52 am 17 Mar 12

IrishPete said :

So your DV-perpetrator ex- is still a Defence employee? Charming.

IP

IrishPete, not only that, they are supporting him. This is despite the fact he pled guilty to assault and we were the victims. Apparently you can’t be sacked for assaulting a minor in his profession. In mine you can…

Finally, DHA couldn’t wait to kick us out of the house with nowhere to go in Canberra winter. We had 28 days to vacate and that was it. No assistance for the family, it’s about the member after all.

supamum 11:37 am 17 Mar 12

HenryBG said :

supamum said :

HenryBG said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

If you read my previous posts you would have noticed that I agree intergenerational employment is a big problem.

I don’t know what the answer is, ,..

I do: Welfare should be provided only to those who can provide doctors’ certificates demonstrating that they are fully up-to-date with their contraceptive shots – thus ensuring no child is born into a state of welfare-dependent poverty.

Very simple.

BTW my above post refers to your comments too… But I guess you think living as an ignoramus is blissful.

Yes, how ignoramus-like of me to overlook the obvious possibility that this useless bludging couple “living on $20,000/year” have suffered 5 instances of “contraception failure”.

As far as your situation goes, it appears that you’ve chosen to have a baby with a scrounging criminal. Apparently you want a medal for it?

I noticed your comment: “Some of us are well educated, from good family’s ect. ”
Here’s a hint: people who really *are* well-educated paid attention for the full 10 minutes on the day apostrophe usage was taught and can as a result successfully use an apostrophe. People like you did whatever it is you people did in the back of the classroom in lieu of learning.

Just to clarify; I did not have a child with a criminal, that’s was in reference to someone else’s post. I am a widow. For the record, I was educated at the best private school in the state, and hold a university degree. My use of apostrophes or the lack of is a very trivial point, especially considering I am posting via an iPhone.

My point to you was in reference to the comment you made about government enforced contraceptive shots, in some circumstances pregnancy is a result of something totally uncontrolable, what do you suggest in this instance? Government inforced abortion?

I do agree that in the instance of the family with five children, that it is highly unlikely that they were all the result of contraceptive failure. I just don’t agree that mandatory contraceptive shots (there’s only one type of contraceptive administered by a “shot” or needle, and it has numerous side effects some quiet serious. There is a percentage of people who cannot use this method of contraceptive) are even an option. What about people who genuinely cannot have this “shot” mandatory hysterectomy or mandatory abortion?

I don’t know why I’m even responding as we both know it would never happen in this country.

HenryBG 8:19 am 17 Mar 12

supamum said :

HenryBG said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

If you read my previous posts you would have noticed that I agree intergenerational employment is a big problem.

I don’t know what the answer is, ,..

I do: Welfare should be provided only to those who can provide doctors’ certificates demonstrating that they are fully up-to-date with their contraceptive shots – thus ensuring no child is born into a state of welfare-dependent poverty.

Very simple.

BTW my above post refers to your comments too… But I guess you think living as an ignoramus is blissful.

Yes, how ignoramus-like of me to overlook the obvious possibility that this useless bludging couple “living on $20,000/year” have suffered 5 instances of “contraception failure”.

As far as your situation goes, it appears that you’ve chosen to have a baby with a scrounging criminal. Apparently you want a medal for it?

I noticed your comment: “Some of us are well educated, from good family’s ect. ”
Here’s a hint: people who really *are* well-educated paid attention for the full 10 minutes on the day apostrophe usage was taught and can as a result successfully use an apostrophe. People like you did whatever it is you people did in the back of the classroom in lieu of learning.

TheDancingDjinn 12:09 am 17 Mar 12

Watson said :

Chop71 said :

supamum said :

And just to all the haters out there just because we live in govt housing does not make us stupid, or bludgers… Some of us are well educated, from good family’s ect. We have just fallen on hard times or been victims or circumstance.

Maybe a thank you to Mr (& Mrs) Taxpayer for providing a roof over your head would be a start.

supamum said :

As a single working mum

Correction, You’re a Single (Part-Time) working mum

Man, there are some haters out there. So anything but working full-time is bludging, is it? No regard for the needs off the child/ren this person is raising?

On the one hand there are the complaints about kids destined to be dole bludging criminals, on the other hand a refusal to contribute in any way to anyone else’s child’s well being.

Such a community spirit.

100 Dollars he is also the first to scream “where are the parents”?? when little Micheal/Michelle do something naughty and we hear about it – you expect them to work full time, and raise productive kids who will be decent members of society. But if they stay at home and raise their kids they are automatically a bludger – damned if you do, damned if you don’t with this guy…

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