Page 3908 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 1 December 2021

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Pursuant to standing order 99A, the petition, having more than 500 signatories, was referred to the Standing Committee on Planning, Transport and City Services.

Ministerial response

The following response to a petition has been lodged:

Public housing—maintenance—petition 37-21

By Ms Berry, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, undated, in response to a petition lodged by Mr Parton on 16 September 2021 concerning the maintenance of public housing.

The response read as follows:

Dear Mr Duncan

Thank you for your letter dated 16 September 2021, regarding petition 37-21 lodged by Mr Mark Parton MLA. The petition calls on the Government to:

Ensure maintenance requests from public housing tenants are dealt with within the required timeframe; and

Rectify all public housing dwellings that are in breach of or below health and safety standards.

The ACT Government (Housing ACT) is the ACT’s largest social landlord with a portfolio of approximately 11,500 properties. Housing ACT, like all landlords across the Territory, has obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 to ensure issues of health and safety are addressed.

Programmed Facility Management (PFM) is contracted by Housing ACT to provide a total facility management service. This includes management and triaging of maintenance and upgrades of public housing properties.

PFM is required to deliver repairs and maintenance in a way that meets Housing ACT’s obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, particularly with respect to the timely provision of these repairs or maintenance.

The PFM call centre staff are trained in questions to ask of tenants requesting maintenance, to ensure that all information is provided, and the right works order can be raised to address the issue. Housing ACT tenants, like all other residential tenants, are encouraged to undertake their own repairs should the damage have been caused by themselves, their children, or visitors.

COVID-19 has had an impact on the Territory, like many states across Australia. The PFM call centre has continued to receive and log work requests. In line with ACT Health advice during the public health emergency and arising lockdown, PFM committed to completing all urgent and priority maintenance to ensure the health and safety of vulnerable tenants.

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