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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Housing and Public Works
    The Honourable Bruce Flegg

    Amnesty finds new money for public housing

    Minister for Housing and Public Works
    The Honourable Bruce Flegg

    Wednesday, August 01, 2012

    Amnesty finds new money for public housing

    The results of a state wide amnesty for undeclared public housing sector tenants will lead to substantial additional income to construct new dwellings.

    Housing and Public Works Minister, Dr Bruce Flegg, said today that tenants had taken advantage of an amnesty to declare more than 2300 extra household members.

    “This extra rental income is conservatively estimated to produce some $5 million per year of additional income to be directed to the construction of new public housing,” he said.

    “Public housing rents are calculated on a household’s income, so this is potentially millions of dollars lost in unpaid rent that could have been directed into the social housing portfolio.

    “Some households advised of up to four extra household members moving into their subsidised housing.

    “As well, our state wide review has shown that more than 8700 households have two or more unused bedrooms. No public housing tenant will be removed from their present home as a result of under occupancy issues.

    “With around 30 000 households on the waiting list for social housing, about 10 000 of whom are technically homeless, this kind of inefficiency is being addressed with voluntary offers for relocations as a priority,” he said.

    The amnesty, which finished last Friday, 27 July, allowed public housing tenants to identify undeclared household members without having to pay back any rent owed.

    Among the areas with the highest number of undeclared tenants were Logan, Caboolture and Inala.

    Dr Flegg said Department of Housing and Public Works staff members across the state were working through the 2300-plus documents returned by tenants.

    “It is estimated that all tenants will have their rents and eligibility for public housing reviewed by the end of September 2012,” he said.

    The amnesty is part of a package of public housing reforms being considered to address the demand for social housing.

    Among the measures already implemented is the progressive introduction of fixed term tenancy agreements for all new public housing tenants from 1 July, 2012.

    As with private sector rentals, tenancy agreements will expire after three years and tenants’ eligibility, housing entitlements and need for public housing will be reviewed.

    [ENDS] 1 August 2012

    Media contact: Graeme Hallett 0408 763 671

    Name

    Total Undeclared Household Members

    Bundaberg Housing Service Centre

    35

    Buranda Housing Service Centre

    148

    Caboolture Housing Service Centre

    255

    Cairns Housing Service Centre

    160

    Capalaba Housing Service Centre

    134

    Chermside Housing Service Centre

    140

    Emerald Housing Service Centre

    included in Rockhampton

    Fortitude Valley Housing Service Centre

    53

    Gladstone Housing Service Centre

    included in Maryborough

    Inala Housing Service Centre

    242

    Ipswich Housing Service Centre

    96

    Mackay Housing Service Centre

    52

    Maroochydore Housing Service Centre

    76

    Maryborough Housing Service Centre

    21

    Mount Isa Housing Service Centre

    25

    Redcliffe Housing Service Centre

    included in Caboolture

    Robina Housing Service Centre

    166

    Rockhampton Housing Service Centre

    86

    Thursday Island Housing Service Centre

    15

    Toowoomba Housing Service Centre

    137

    Townsville Housing Service Centre

    131

    Woodridge Housing Service Centre

    368

    Wynnum Housing Service Centre

    14

    TOTAL

    2354

    Summary of Total Undeclared Household Members by Housing Service Centre