Outcry over public housing reforms
PUBLIC housing tenants in Ipswich are in shock over policy reforms proposed by the State Government.
To combat "under-occupancy", tenants have been asked to consider transfers to smaller properties, higher rents or share arrangements.
Minister for Housing and Public Works Bruce Flegg said the public housing system was in crisis, with no funds available to build new homes, while 31,000 families languished on the waiting list.
"We estimate there are more than 8700 public housing properties that have two or more additional bedrooms than needed by the occupants," Mr Flegg said.
"It makes no sense for a single person to live in a two or three-bedroom house that would be more suitable for a single parent with a child or a family of four."
As at May 31 this year, there were 2515 government-managed homes in the Ipswich City Council boundaries.
Of these, 2437 were public rental housing and 78 were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander housing rentals.
Mr Flegg assured tenants they would not be "turfed out" of their homes because of the reform proposals.
"It doesn't threaten the housing of anyone. Nobody will be put out," he said.
"We'll work with people to make sure their accommodation is suitable.
"It will always be voluntary. People don't need to be frightened of it."
Tenants' Union of Queensland statewide co-ordinator Penny Carr said there had been an outcry over the proposals and tenants were upset.
"They are saying things like they don't understand why the government is treating them like this when they've been good tenants, looked after their properties and often upgraded them," Ms Carr said.
"There are people who think they're imminently going to be moved."
Tenants were worried about their pets if they were forced to move, Ms Carr said.
"Some people have spent a lot of time and money upgrading their properties on the understanding they could stay there for life.
"Connection with the community also might be lost if they are forcibly moved."