Consultation begins on social housing reforms

Minister for Housing and Public Works
The Honourable Bruce Flegg

Consultation begins on social housing reforms

Minister for Housing and Public Works Bruce Flegg will hold a consultation forum at Eight Mile Plains today in response to the looming social housing crisis.

Dr Flegg said discussing local issues with representatives of the housing sector was essential to fixing the issue.

“There are 30,000 applications on the waiting list and current figures indicate the social housing system is headed towards a $140 million deficit by 2015-2016,” he said.

“We are now considering a range of reforms to address the current crisis, but we can’t do it alone.”

The Minister said representatives from the housing sector including the St. Vincent De Paul Society, Queensland Shelter and the Brisbane Housing Company would attend the forum.

“One of the first issues we need to address is under-occupancy,” Dr Flegg said.

“We estimate there are more than 8,700 public housing properties that have two or more additional bedrooms that are not needed by occupants.

“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.”

Member for Stretton Freya Ostapovitch said finding social housing solutions was crucial.

“As of 31 May 2012, we have 785 applications on the social housing register in the Algester and Stretton electorates,” Ms Ostapovitch said.

“However, the combined region only has 430 social housing rental units so there is a considerable gap that needs to be addressed.”

Member for Algester Anthony Shorten said the government was committed to working with local services to develop and implement the new reforms.

“These organisations are at the forefront of delivering social housing services,” he said.

“The feedback we receive today, and from other consultation activities, will help us refine the reform options.

“We need to work together to make sure the needs of tenants, and those on the waiting list, are taken into consideration when developing a solution to the problem.”

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