Flegg defends audit decision

MINISTER for Housing and Public Works Dr Bruce Flegg defended his decision to audit public housing, saying it was in trouble.

"There can be no doubt that Queensland's public housing system is in crisis," Dr Flegg said.

"For the first time in more than 50 years, the rents from public housing do not cover the cost of basic maintenance and administration, let alone fund the construction of new properties for families in need of accommodation.

"I am advised that by 2015-16 public housing in Queensland will be losing $140 million per annum. This figure will continue to rise if we do nothing," he said.

He said there were currently 30,000 applications on the waiting list. "Our prime responsibility must be to house people, literally to put a roof over people's heads," Dr Flegg said.

"Last week I announced the first of a series of major reforms aimed at reversing this trend and putting the system back on a sustainable footing.

"Our first step will be to address the chronic under-occupancy of existing public houses.

"We estimate that there are currently almost 9000 public housing properties across Queensland that have two or more bedrooms than are needed by the listed occupants. It makes absolutely no sense for a single person to live in a two, three or sometimes four bedroom house," he said.

Gympie Times


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