Page 964 - Week 03 - Thursday, 10 March 2005

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Is the Government considering extending the Boarding House Program to include construction of additional boarding house facilities elsewhere in the ACT for single people on low incomes based on the apparent success of the Program’s three boarding houses in the ACT; if so, what locations are being considered; if not, why not, given that the ACT Poverty Task Group and the ACT Homelessness Strategy identifies people on low incomes as a priority group.

Mr Hargreaves: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

Gungahlin Boarding House is currently under construction and is due for completion in July 2005. It will provide low cost accommodation for 20 men and women in individual units.

The government is committed to the establishment of low cost boarding house/hostel accommodation for up to 30 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

$3.2 million capital funding has been identified through the 2003-04 third budget appropriation for this purpose.

Consultation with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community has commenced, which will identify the exact nature of this service including the size and number of properties required. The location of these properties will be determined in response to identified community need.

(Question No 184)

Mrs Burke asked the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, upon notice, on 17 February 2005:

(1) What action is taken under the Residential Tenancies Act if an individual holding a tenancy agreement commits an illegal act;

(2) What are the provisions of the Community Guardian Service and under what circumstances would this service be activated in relation to illegal activity in and around ACT Housing multi-unit complexes.

Mr Hargreaves: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The legislation governing residential tenancies in the ACT restricts the circumstances where a landlord can seek an eviction for an illegal act to the following circumstances:

(a) where the property is being used for an illegal purpose; or

(b) where the tenant threatens the landlord or the agent of the landlord

I am unable to comment on how other landlords might respond to illegal acts that are covered by the Residential Tenancies Act, but Housing ACT considers each case on the specific facts, particularly the nature of the conviction, other tenants and residents of the property and the capacity of the tenant to sustain their tenancy. It is important to note that in line with the legislation, Housing ACT awaits the decision of the justice system on whether a criminal act has occurred.

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