15 July 2010

Slum shutdown

| johnboy
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In a blow to housing affordability the Chief Minister has announced that four of the most affordable accomodations in Canberra, home to 80 odd people, have been taken down.

Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said he had been briefed today on the emergency closure of the houses and the Government had established a quick-response team to ensure that residents were helped to locate alternative accommodation.

“I am advised that the state of the four houses was absolutely disgraceful, with unsafe, overloaded electrical wiring, unapproved works, serious overcrowding and extremely unsanitary conditions,” Mr Stanhope said. “This is not how we live in Australia, not how we live in Canberra, and I think most Canberrans would agree that we do not want to see this sort of activity occurring in the nation’s capital.”

Government agencies including ACT Health, ACTPLA and ACT Policing inspected the four houses in Macquarie, Melba, Scullin and Ngunnawal this week and decided the houses had to be closed as a matter of urgency.

In one case, a two-bedroom house had been transformed into seven separate dwellings housing 24 men, women and children, all of whom shared a single toilet. In another instance, up to four families were living in a partitioned garage. Inspectors found large volumes of rubbish, evidence of rodent infestation and filthy and unsanitary cooking and bathroom facilities.

A Canberra man, the owner of all four houses, has been issued with formal notices and inquiries are continuing into possible breaches of health and planning laws.

Perhaps some real headway on affordable accommodation (not home ownership) would make these dives less attractive to the tenants who chose to live in them?

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Word on the street is that govt agencies and media are massing outside 57 Cadell St now while all the tenants are being relocated etc. Strike one more for Stanhope.

Clown Killer3:24 pm 16 Jul 10

Johnboy – why are you so anti Stanhope?

I’m guessing that you’ve never met the guy.

Bloody government – haven’t they got better things to worry about? How’s a hardworking slumlord supposed to earn a living these days?

Needless to say, we told them don’t call us, we’ll call you.

you turned down prospective tenants, for not your house, when you needed to get out? hope you ended up with someone nonetheless… 😉

I had to break a lease on a 2 bedroom house in Hackett a couple of years ago and the landlord agreed so long as we found new tenants.

We had a couple of young guys come through one afternoon and they asked us “How many people are allowed to live here…..like legally?” Scary! I wonder what they were planning?

Needless to say, we told them don’t call us, we’ll call you.

57 Cadell St is a reference home for ‘sustainable living’

Ha, brilliant, police picture.

The problems that create this sort of are a bit wider than what any state government can handle, although hopefully now the system doesn’t let this guy off lightly.

Al least the Canberra Times has changed it’s generic police picture. It’s now one of the Holden hi-vis pursuit vehicles.

Owner: Chinese resident. Tenants: All Indian. As reported on the Canberra Times on the ABC Nightlife program.

Since all 4 properties were closed down at once, it seems the authorities knew about the situation for some time and went into action only as a matter of last resort.

Johnboy – why are you so anti Stanhope? The government found a problem and are responding to it. Affordable housing is a hard problem and it is difficult to get the balance right.

Looks like 57 Cadell St sold recently. What an odd patchwork of extensions. http://www.domain.com.au/Property/Sold/House/ACT/Downer/?adid=2008186456

Well he will just have to build for government housing!

^ So dodgy. The owner is probably also dodging a heap of taxes, like land tax and tax on his rental income. I hope the tenants find themselves better accommodation really soon.

Sounds like 57 Cadell St Downer. Must be the same bloke – there are about 25 people living in that place.

georgesgenitals6:11 pm 15 Jul 10

How much rent was he charging?

i reckon the owner of the dwellings ought to be given the opportunity to live in a tiny, overcrowded room with several large men named “bubba” for a few years. might give him a sense of perspective.

if they can confiscate cars used in crimes, they ought to be able to confiscate these houses.

Oscillate Wildly6:01 pm 15 Jul 10

I think this goes beyond a lack of affordable housing!

make these dives less attractive to the tenants who chose to live in them?

No one chooses to live that way.

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