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Public housing waiting lists increase



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Media Release G eoff Prosser M.P. FEDERAL M EM BER FOR FORREST

Shadow M inister for Small Business, Housing and Customs.

3 November 1991

PUBLIC HOUSING WAITING LISTS INCREASE

Waiting lists for public housing grew by 6,555 or 3.34% over the last financial year, the Federal Opposition said today.

According to the Shadow Minister for Housing, Geoff Prosser, the number of families and individuals awaiting placement in public rental housing grew from 191,164 at 30 June 1990 to 202,719 at 30 June 1991.

"The largest increases were recorded in the ACT (68.7%), the NT (21.8%), Queensland (18.2%), Victoria (17.5%) and Western Australia (17.4%).

"In New South Wales, the number of people awaiting placement in housing actually fell by 14%. This means that, over the financial year, at least 10,600 families were assisted into homes by NSW Government programs.

"Indeed, it was this reduction in waiting lists in NSW which contained an otherwise quite substantial national increase."

According to Mr Prosser, the increase in demand for public housing can be directly attributed to the Hawke Government's poor economic policies and the resultant record unemployment.

He also said that the growing waiting lists for public housing clearly demonstrated that the system was not coping.

"It is quite obvious that the public housing system is no longer effective and cannot accommodate the increasing number of individuals and families in housing crisis.

"The Government must urgently review the public housing system and look at alternatives which both are cost-effective and will provide housing assistance to a greater number of those in need.

"For example, capital funding currently provided to the States via the Commonwealth State Housing Agreement is not sufficient to meet demand. But "‘ ‘ coMXfdHv/EXCfi-T the level of capital funding, the Government should consic^ARUAMENTAkY U£RAR\ assistance directly to the tennant.

. 2 .

"In addition, the following two options should be given careful consideration:

. greater co-operation between the private sector and government, such as the NSW State Government/AMP arrangement; and

, an accelerated sell-off program to existing public housing tenants with the proceeds being re-invested in additional housing stocks.

"Given that economic recovery is still some way off, demand for public housing will continue to grow. The Government must act now to develop new ways to meet this demand.

ends Canberra

For further information: Geoff Prosser (097) 91 1146 Karen Kuschert (06) 277 4717 (06) 286 5006 (h)

PUBLIC HOUSING WAITING USTS

As at 30.6.90 30.6.91 % change

NSW 75 520 64 895 -14.0

VIC 33 130 38 935 17.5

OLD 19 168 22 664 18.2

WA 15 143 17 784 17.4

SA 41 291 43 520 5.4

TAS 4 316 4 600 6.6

ACT 2 271 3 832 68.7

NT 5 325 6 489 21.8

TOTAL 196 164 202 719 3.34%