News

Cheap social housing rents come from loophole

SHOCKED: Queensland Housing Minister Tim Mander.
SHOCKED: Queensland Housing Minister Tim Mander. Contributed

CABOOLTURE residents living in social housing are unknowingly exploiting a loophole in the system which allows them to pay a fraction of the rent required because the Federal Government benefits they receive are not deemed to be assessable income.

Queensland legislation requires those living in taxpayer-funded social housing across the state to pay 25% of their assessable income towards rent.

However, the former State Government relaxed social housing criteria resulting in more than 100 federal benefit payments being exempt from being considered as income costing the government more than $100 million annually.

Of the 2928 households in Caboolture afforded social housing only four of those households pay the full 25% of their income towards rent as required.

One hundred and ninety-nine of those households pay less than 10% of their weekly income towards rent.

Queensland Housing Minister Tim Mander, talking exclusively to APN Newsdesk, said he was shocked when he learnt the full extent of welfare benefits deemed not to be income.

 

Reasonable and generous

He said he believed the 25% contribution level towards their taxpayer-funded housing to be reasonable and generous.

"We will be looking at the 100 or so exemptions that have not been classified as contributing towards income," he said.

"If you receive these benefits they should form part of your income.

"I believe there has been a far too generous application of these exemptions."

Mr Mander said the government needed to look at ways to address the situation, but in a way that was not too burdensome on low income earners.

He said the current system had raised questions of equality both inside and outside the system.

"It is the poor pensioners that have been hard done by in all this," he said.

"All their benefits are classified as income whereas a family who receives similar benefits have been afforded a host of exemptions that do not form part of their income.

"We recognise that we simply cannot increase social housing rents.

"It is something we need to address, but it needs to be a fine balancing act as well," Mr Mander said.

 

DOING THE NUMBERS

Number of Caboolture households by percent of income paid in rent

Total number of social housing households: 2928

Less than 10%: 199

Between 10% and 15%: 1129

Between 15% and 20%: 1506

Between 20% and 25%: 90

Full 25%: 4

Topics:  housing affordability social housing


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Natty and Cam just can't wait to start school

STARTING SCHOOL: Cam Price is getting ready to start prep at Banksia Beach State School this, with his big sister Cayla who will be there to guide the way.

THESE two Preps are keen as mustard to start school tomorrow.

Toxic algae discovered at Bongaree

TOXIC ALGAE: Fisherman Greg Savige was concerned that Blue-Green Algae was on the rise 12 months ago - and now the toxic blooms are back.

Moreton Bay Regional Council has identified the toxic algae.

Severe storms on the way for Moreton Bay region

STORM SAFETY: Moreton Bay Regional Council have issued tips to stay safe.

So here are some tips to help you weather the storm.

Local Partners

Jennifer Aniston wants to return to TV

Jennifer Aniston is desperate to make a return to TV

Madonna hopes for election unity

Madonna hopes Donald Trump's election will "bring people together"

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!