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Housing system 'stressed': Flegg

Minister for Housing Bruce Flegg said the system was being stressed by having so many homes with a number of bedrooms being occupied by just one person, when these tens of thousands remained on a waiting list.
Minister for Housing Bruce Flegg said the system was being stressed by having so many homes with a number of bedrooms being occupied by just one person, when these tens of thousands remained on a waiting list. Brett Wortman

AN amnesty has been announced for those breaking Department of Housing rules as the State Government fights to find homes for 30,000 Queenslanders.

The get-out-of-jail-free card for those staying in these houses off the radar only applies if they contact the department by July 27.

Those who do not could be transferred to smaller accommodation and be forced to pay back rent at 25% of their household income.

Minister for Housing Bruce Flegg said the system was being stressed by having so many homes with a number of bedrooms being occupied by just one person, when these tens of thousands remained on a waiting list.

On Wednesday, Mr Flegg revealed reforms to ease the $140 million burden social housing was expected to create by the 2015-16 financial year.

"We estimate there are more than 8700 public housing properties that have two or more additional bedrooms than needed by the occupants," Mr Flegg said.

"It makes no sense for a single person to live in a two or three bedroom house that would be more suitable for a single parent with a child or a family of four."

Mr Flegg said the reforms would not just target empty rooms, but would simplify rent policies, cut maintenance costs and introduce fixed-term tenancies.

The government would also work to have other groups providing housing for those in need.

More than 50,000 already in the housing will receive a letter within weeks warning them of the crackdown and why it was needed.

Topics:  bruce flegg public housing



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