Page 508 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 18 February 2015

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Unfortunately, more recently this has resulted in his son having to move out and live with his mother at a different property. This constituent, this father, is devastated that his son can no longer live with him. I quote from his email to me:

If the ACT Government can borrow money for the Mr Fluffy houses and light rail, why can they not get enough to house my son?

It is a very sad story and just one of the many examples of our public housing system failing those people most in need.

It continues to concern me that the ACT government do not have a record of which public housing properties are modified for disability access. When I first raised this last year I was told that a five-year audit was being undertaken and that maybe after that they would be able to tell me. The idea that we hold homes in the government’s public housing portfolio that were modified for disability access and we do not know which homes they are is of great concern. Surely any property manager would know which homes were modified for disability access. It concerns me that we have disability-modified homes that are not being adequately utilised because we do not know which ones they are. It should be a focus for our government. We should be trying to give the greatest possible support to our most vulnerable residents.

In 2012 the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experiencing homelessness in the ACT was 501 per 10,000. This is above the national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander average. I ask what the government is specifically doing to help these people to be housed in ACT public housing.

It is public knowledge that the government plans to demolish the flats on either side of Northbourne Avenue, and there has been some media coverage of that today, with the Chief Minister very proudly talking about the sale of those properties. What is happening with the tenants from Northbourne flats? What is the government’s plan to rehouse these people? In May last year I moved a motion concerning the redevelopment of the ABC flats. I flagged in that speech that there did not appear to be a plan to rehouse the tenants of the ABC flats. I am not against having plans for the redevelopment of these flats—the Northbourne flats, the ABC flats, Strathgordon Court, many of the other properties that are listed in today’s media—but without an open, honest and transparent management strategy for rehousing these tenants the government is not fulfilling its role. It is letting down all Canberrans.

I can imagine that those people who have been on the waiting list for more than two years may not be very impressed if they found out that tenants from those flats were being moved into other vacant properties when they have been on the waiting list for some years. It is a very difficult situation. I understand that many public housing properties are outdated and run down but we have to respect the tenants who live there. This is their home and we must have a plan for these people.

We have another looming risk to our burgeoning public housing waiting list. I know many of us are aware of the possibility of the sale of the Canberra South Motor Park and that approximately 600 residents could become homeless if the sale of the motor

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