Your say: Should public housing tenants pay a bond? 594



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Without a home and nowhere to go, there are many who receive government housing every year and yet there are alarming statistics to show that the costs of repairing damaged public housing has gone through the roof.

Just why are these people biting the hand that feeds? And what is it costing the taxpayer?

According the Daily Mail Australia, the cost of maintenance and repairs to damaged public housing is nearing $13 million a year in NSW alone, and now the State Government has had enough: it’s planning to make tenants pay a bond before they move in.

Community Services Minister Brad Hazzard hoped the $12 million annual maintenance bill would be reduced if the plan was actioned to make public housing tenants pay a bond. Currently, in most states, you do not have to provide a bond to live in government-funded housing.

The Daily Telegraph spoke to Mr Hazzard and he said, “The community housing sector long ago decided that a bond — the same way that you have in the private market — is necessary. It reinforces the message that if you do something bad to this property that you don’t own, you will lose some money to fix it.

“It is a clear warning. That doesn’t happen in public housing. I am looking very closely now into why that hasn’t been implemented.

“I was shocked to hear that message when I was with frontline workers. Unless there is some very substantive arguments that I’ve missed so far, I think as a principle it should be there”.

Distressing photos of kitchens and living spaces covered in litter with holes in walls and waste strewn from room to room show just how filthy and unkempt some Housing Commission properties are.

Mr Hazzard told The Telegraph that the bond (which could be paid in instalments) would help pay for the millions of damage to public housing properties, the majority of which is wilful destruction by tenants.

“They may not have the money to pay it in one hit, that’s understandable, but they should be paying it in the first six months or 12 months, a small amount each week, so there is a reasonable bond there, so they know if they don’t look after that house, they are not going to stay”, he said.

Reports show that former minister Pru Goward flagged a plan to force “high-risk” tenants to pay a bond, however it was never implemented. Shockingly, in the past three years there has been a 75 per cent increase in the amount of wilful damage by public housing tenants…and taxpayers are footing the bill.

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Mr Hazzard added that he did not know why public housing tenants had never been made to pay a bond similar to that paid by private renters.

“I’d like to see at least a reasonable portion of that money saved and put into more public housing. We have very long public housing tenancy waiting lists”, he said.

There would be exceptions in certain circumstances but the aim was to make tenants more aware that it was their money that would be used to foot the bill if they damaged the property.

So we want to know: what do you think? Should every public housing tenant in Australia be forced to pay a rental bond? Or do you think that they are a product of their circumstances and need to be understood? 

Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. Don’t know why the repair bill has gone through the roof as it’s very hard to get them to repair anything

    3 REPLY
  2. What’s the use it wouldn’t cover the cost of the damage they cause I don’t understand why they can’t look after a place r stead of distroying them

  3. Yes and be held financially liable for any damage. Garnishee their wages/dole payments etc till theyve paid off their debt.

    6 REPLY
    • That is already being done now Dennis. Why don’t you people stop generalising and talking about shit you know nothing about. As a Housing SA tenant who has lots & lots of neighbors, also Housing SA tenants, who keep their homes & gardens very nice, pay rent on time, pay for their water etc. etc. etc. I object to the general public lumping people as public housing scum. Why don’t you learn the facts before judging. Housing SA can garnish anyone’s Centrelink benefits if rent is not being paid, if damage costs have to be paid etc. etc. etc. Housing SA have more power than they pretend they have, they choose not to follow through with chasing the money. As for keep moving tenants who trash houses I totally agree with you Claire it’s insane. But Housing SA can refuse to re-house these people but they will just live on the streets. They are between the devil and the deep blue sea with that one.

      1 REPLY
    • it wont work most of these people who do the damage are white 3rd or 4th decade dole bludgers and know the system i know this because i was a cleaner in SA and it was one of my jobs to clean these disgusting places i could tell you some of the things i saw and had to clean would make your hair curl

    • Yes, deductions for damage can and is made out of benefits, but that takes forever. Abit like getting students to repay their HECs.

  4. Yes they should I and my children lived in public housing for seven years (and were really really grateful for it) and while there are lots of decent people who live in those houses and units there are also a lot of drug addicts (and dealers), prostitutes and just general scum bags who really don’t appreciate what they have, often the teenagers would break into empty places and totally trash them.

  5. The problem is made worse by giving them another house once the first is trashed because of the poor kids in the situation so it happens again and again

    1 REPLY
    • I agree with you Libby.
      Trash one house says you do not need the House in the first place.
      So no second chance.
      If you wish to live like pigs then get your own house.
      What happened to House inspections???
      Once a Month until they are sure you can keep the place neat and tidy .Then extend it to once every six months for the good tenants.

  6. What I don’t understand is how they wreck one place & are relocated, then do the same thing again so get relocated etc etc etc & decent people can’t get into housing.

    19 REPLY
    • I agree with you there Claire,as people down the end of my street have had around 15 housing places,they wreck one and are given another straight away yet ive been waiting almost 3years for a medical transfer

    • Times are changing, let’s hope. Reward those with a good record and for the destroyers, well out they go

    • I live in housing and think they should foot the bill if they wreck the place and get no more accommodation through housing …

    • They even knock down interior walls so they have more room to party, yet still they’re given another home which I don’t agree with. They should do the right thing or get kicked out, NEVER having another DOH home. Blacklist them!!!!

      1 REPLY
      • goodness Anna Harrison, who are “They”? I have never met anyone who has knocked down any interior walls to have more room to party. You must have some very interesting aquaintances.

    • Yep..last time I called I was told I’m not on the priority list and have a 20 year wait. I’ll have either cashed in my chips or be in a nursing home by then. Problem is I haven’t just got out of gaol, arrived in a leaky boat or sell drugs to the local community.

    • Should not have access to public housing if they’ve abused the privilege by damaging or destroying the house; one strike you’re out!

    • Like all government departments they are not managed so that people who do right and need relocation is sorted. They are ignorant of any that trash houses too. It needs a overhaul so its run like estate agency. In fact they might save money by handing inspections etc to an agent that then sends info to the right department so things get done. Hiring government workers who just sit in a office all day and cant get to inspect houses is costing them

    • Exactly, Clare. I have been waiting a long time now. They keep saying there are many single mums with kids, etc. I need a senior unit and I am not standing in the way for any single mums xxx

    • Trisha Bond-Drahthaar…… Not ALL estate agents have a clue about property management. Many of them sit in offices too & properties get trashed in the private market as a result.

  7. But where would they get the money to pay the bond? More visits should be made to check all is ok

    4 REPLY
    • I would think that if they are on Centrelink the rent is taken before they get paid so a little more should be taken for a bond. Then if they are scum who destroy property then they DO NOT get another property & have to find rentals (good lick with that one). If then maybe the kids are in care until they can find a suitable property so they are safe & secure.

    • My son rented his house out through an agent and there were three monthly inspections fine and just before the people were due to move out they caused over$10,000.00 damage. The bond only covered a very small amount, they had good references and were aboriginal. They wrecked the inside and the garden, needless to say he won’t be renting to any aboriginal person again.

      1 REPLY
      • Cheryl, You’re an idiot! There you go lumping everyone of the same culture into the same bucket. Not every aboriginal behaves in the same manner. I was a landlord, and my house was trashed by tenants, not aboriginal, but that didn’t make the rest of ‘white’ society guilty. Neither does it make the rest of the aboriginal community guilty of something they haven’t yet done. Listen to yourself! ps. YES I am Aboriginal.

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