QUEENSLAND: Public housing tenants with rooms to spare may be asked to downsize to smaller homes to help clear the waiting list.
Housing Minister Bruce Flegg says more than 8700 of the state’s public houses are “underoccupied”.
He says tenants should consider transferring to smaller homes or share arrangements to help combat waiting lists.
The Tenants’ Union of Queensland has criticised it as a black-and-white solution that does not take into account tenants who have spent a lot of time and money upgrading their homes on the understanding they could live in it for life.
Dr Flegg says the state has a public housing crisis, with no funds available to build new homes and 30,000 languishing on the waiting list.
Housing and welfare groups are discussing public housing issues with Dr Flegg at a forum in Brisbane on Tuesday.
The minister says the social housing system is heading towards a $140 million deficit by 2015/2016.
“I have brought these groups together to seek their opinions on how to best address this and to look at ways we can deliver an efficient and financially viable public housing system,” Dr Flegg said in a statement.
The government has already announced a crackdown on rent dodgers in public housing.
Tenants will have until July 27 to notify the Department of Housing of any undeclared household members.