News

Mander under fire for "temporary absence policy"

SCAREMONGERING: Housing Minister Tim Mander (right) has defended the housing policy.
SCAREMONGERING: Housing Minister Tim Mander (right) has defended the housing policy. Sarah Harvey

A PETITION has been launched by Labor candidate for Ipswich Jenny Howard to protest what she says is the State Government's unfair housing policy.

Ms Howard has taken issue with the government's "temporary absence policy" which only allows tenants to take a maximum four weeks of holidays in a year.

But Minister for Housing Tim Mander has told the QT that "the new rules are about making sure public housing is available for those who need it most".

The QT understands that average public housing rent in Ipswich is $131 per week, less than half of the median private rent of $300 per week. Over the past two and a half years, the State Government says it has reduced the public housing waiting list in Ipswich by 36% from 1301 to 836, and that the new rules are designed to stop the trend under the former government of hundreds of tenants taking long breaks.

ALSO MAKING HEADLINES TODAY ...

Cassar-Daley to rock the Raceway

Boy, 12, used as drug mule: police

Blacksoil legend remembered at opening of overpass

Five things to do in Ipswich this weekend

"Under the old rules, properties often sat vacant for up to 12 months while the registered tenants were off on lengthy holidays or serving prison sentences," Mr Mander said.

"Under the new policy, public housing tenants are entitled to take up to four weeks of holidays each year. However, longer absences can be approved on a case-by-case basis for things like health issues, family crises or domestic violence/child safety issues. The new rules are about making sure public housing is made available for those who need it most."

But Ms Howard said she was concerned by what she was hearing from tenants.

"When I've been out and about, I've heard of people who have been putting off family holidays or helping to care for sick relatives because they're worried that if they are away too long, they will lose their house," Ms Howard said.

"Imagine if a tenant in the private sector was entitled to be in a home, paying their rent on time and helped a daughter or son care for a new grandchild for a few weeks in another part of Queensland.

"If they were evicted, the community would be outraged.

"This policy is no different and should immediately be reversed."

Mr Mander said Ms Howard's comments were "cynical scaremongering from the ALP".

"The four-week cap only applies to holidays and would have no impact on people travelling away from home to care for sick relatives.

"Tenants in the private rental market don't have their rent subsidised by taxpayers to the tune of $8000 each year. Given the level of the subsidy, it's important to make sure public housing is not left sitting vacant, particularly when there are still 18,500 households on the waiting list."

Ms Howard's petition is at jenniferhowardforipswich.com.

Topics:  tim mander




Six injured in three car pile up

Paramedics on scene of peak-hour multi-vehicle prang

Man accused of indecently assaulting health worker

A view of the Ipswich Hospital from the corner of East and Court Street. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times

It's alleged the attacker threatened the woman with a knife

Woolworths latest: Uncertainty hangs over Ipswich site

NSW and Victoria to be hit by retrenchments

Latest deals and offers

Alicia Vikander hasn't been home since Oscars

Alicia Vikander "hasn't been home" for nearly nine months.

Tom Hiddleston not worried about relationship attention

Attention doesn't bother 'authentic' Hiddleston

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field to expand family?

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field want more children.

Licking incident bars Ariana from performing at White House

Ariana Grande has been blocked from performing at the White House

Taylor Swift's ex throws support behind Kanye West

Calvin Harris shares a sing-along with Kanye West

Michael Jackson's jailed doctor wants his license back

Conrad Murray wants his medical licence back.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles