Tenants agree downsizing best option
SOME of the 30,000 families on Queensland's public housing waiting list could find relief after almost two thirds of surveyed tenants agreed downsizing was the best solution.
Housing Minister Bruce Flegg said his department could now take action after 62% of surveyed tenants found downsizing most popular to address under-occupancy and 26% supported tenants paying more rent to retain under-occupied properties.
Though he noted only 8% believed voluntary share housing was the way to go.
The Queensland Government sent letters and a feedback forms to 54,263 public housing tenants last month about a proposal to move people living in homes with more bedrooms than they needed to smaller dwellings or for them to volunteer to share their home with others.
Tenants returned 10,535 responses by the June 30 cut-off.
Dr Flegg said on Tuesday there were 8700 properties with two or more bedrooms more than needed for the registered occupants.
He said urgent action was required but shared tenancies would only be considered at the direct request of the tenant after listening to tenant feedback.
"The overwhelming support from tenants for downsizing and increased rents proves we're on the right track," he said.
"Tenants in under-occupied properties will be offered a move to smaller dwellings as they become available and those determined to stay will be offered a modest increase to weekly rent."
The government will also progressively introduce fixed term tenancy agreements for all new public housing tenants from this month to reinforce a message social housing is not an entitlement for life.