'Social housing not a life entitlement'

Public Housing Minister Dr Bruce Flegg
Public Housing Minister Dr Bruce Flegg Brett Wortman

PUBLIC housing tenants will be placed on three-year fixed tenancy agreements to reinforce the message social housing is not a life entitlement, the Public Housing Minister says.

The Queensland Government currently is conducting a review of its social housing network to solve the housing crisis in areas like Central Queensland and other resource boom regions.

In an attempt to free up under-utilised government homes, Public Housing Minister Dr Bruce Flegg announced public housing tenants would be signed on to fixed, three-year tenancy agreements.

At the end of the fixed-term, tenancies will be reviewed and tenants will be offered either a new or extended lease.

But some tenants will be "transitioned" to the private rental market, Dr Flegg said.

"This is about reinforcing the message that social housing is not an entitlement for life and to ensure that it continues to be allocated to those most in need," he said.

"It's important that we make changes like this as part of the long process of fixing the system."

Dr Flegg said the Department of Housing would investigate extending fixed term leases in the future.

"That could mean extending five-year leases to elderly or long-term tenants and single-year leases to tenants with a history of disruptive or anti-social behaviour," he said.

Earlier this year, the housing department sent letters to 54,263 public housing tenants about a proposal to move people living in homes with more bedrooms than they needed to smaller dwellings or for them to volunteer to share their home with others.

The survey found 62% of tenants believed downsizing was the way to go.

Topics:  bruce flegg department of housing public housing

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