Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mystery deepens as 30,000 NSW renters simply vanish!

Shock figures released at yesterday's Housing Budget Estimates committee meeting reveal that 30,000 people have vanished from NSW Public Housing waiting lists in the space of 1 year!

But only about 110 new dwellings have been built.

So where did they all go?

Did they manage to find suitable accommodation in the midst of this nation's greatest housing crisis, when the eligibility limit for public housing hovers near the poverty line?

Did 30,000 BMW owners fess up during the Tenant Fraud Amnesty and voluntarily make way for those "more in need"?

Did those waiting more than 10 years give up out of sheer frustration?

Snatched wholesale by aliens?

Responding to a question from Greens Senator Sylvia Hale about whether the numbers had declined due to frustration at the long wait, or due to tightening of eligibility requirements, new Housing Minister David Borger replied that the decline was thanks to regular surveys to determine ongoing eligibility and better matching of applicants to criteria (which are tighter). In addition, Mr Borger stated that "a number" of products like Rentstart, others products unspecified, allowed renters to make choices in relation to private housing. Umm, Rentstart applies to people with savings of less than $1000 dollars, pays 75 percent of bond, then you're on your own in Sydney's ferocious rental market, and if you're not mentally ill, disabled or aged, but merely on a low income, you haven't got a snowflakes of getting public housing in less than 8 years. In short, we're talking about closer applicant matching to the complete non-availability of housing to anyone on a low income who can still crawl.

What it's all about is that 40,000 sounds a lot better than an embarassing 70,000, and a positively excruciating 100,000 the year before. It reduces the pressure on governments to cough up a greater share of the national cake to help struggling renters.

But before you get up in arms about Housing NSW, who struggle gamely with inadequate funding, blame the Howard government. No wonder there's no new housing. They robbed Public Housing of $3 billion worth of funding over their miserable tenure. And alas, $3 billion these days wouldn't buy you a magnum of bubbly at a Bank Holiday picnic...

1 comment:

Spotmore said...

In ten years they have suddenly dropped in numbers! Has the assets price changed? Example: A friend still owns a would be fruit farm [overgrown] 3 hours drive from Rockhampton jointly with X hubby.
It was almost worthless in value when they both moved, been split 6 years and still cannot sell at value, but Qld Housing now regard her as wealthy, so had to find private rental.

In ten years, your 6 year old is 16 & off elsewhere along with older ones, perhaps to Queensland where the jobs are, maybe mum found a coal miner to shack up with, more realistic she found a job & sends the kids & dad money to stay away!