AN AMNESTY for those rorting public housing has attracted more than 2300 people to admit they have been living in the homes rent free.
The extra rent from these undeclared tenants, who were piggy-backing on leases held by others, now will help fund the building of more homes, according to Housing Minister Bruce Flegg.
The rent funding boost now on the table would produce an extra $5million per year that could be funnelled into addressing the state's housing crisis, he said.
"Some households advised of up to four extra household members moving into their subsidised housing," Dr Flegg said.
"Public housing rents are calculated on a household's income, so this is potentially millions of dollars lost in unpaid rent that could have been directed into the social housing portfolio.
Government housing in Brisbane's Woodridge had the highest number of rent dodgers, with 368 undeclared.
Beyond that, more than 8700 households were found to have at least two unused bedrooms.
Dr Flegg said no public housing tenant would be removed from their current home as a result of housing shortages.
"With around 30,000 households on the waiting list for social housing, about 10,000 of whom are technically homeless, this kind of inefficiency is being addressed with voluntary offers for relocations as a priority," he said.
The amnesty ran until July 27 to encourage public housing tenants to identify undeclared housemates without having to pay back rent.
Among the areas with the highest number of undeclared tenants were Logan, Caboolture and Inala.
Dr Flegg said Department of Housing and Public Works workers would now sort through the more than 2300 documents returned by tenants.
The review is expected to be finished in September.
The government already has flagged the introduction of fixed-term leases for all new tenants from July 1, with each lease needing to be renewed after three years
ROOMS AND BOARD
The number of people living in public housing without paying government rent:
- Caboolture 255
- Robina 166
- Toowoomba 137
- Ipswich 96
- Rockhampton (includes Emerald) 86
- Maroochydore 76
- Mackay 52
- Bundaberg 35
- Maryborough and Gladstone 21
Across Queensland: 2354
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