News

Tenant claims government policy is a privacy invasion

Lindsay Miller is unhappy with new rules for housing commission tenants.
Lindsay Miller is unhappy with new rules for housing commission tenants. Alistair Brightman

UPDATE: A SPOKESMAN for Queensland Housing Minister Tim Mander has denied public housing tenants face eviction if they're away from their home for more than four weeks.

The spokesman said the tenants were able to be away for four weeks holidays a year, but would be able to be away longer for other circumstances.

The spokesman also said the government did not require tenants to notify them where they were going.

EARLIER: A public housing tenant claims a State Government policy requesting notice of when residents are away on holidays is an invasion of privacy.

The policy, which was implemented in February this year, restricts housing commission tenants from being away from their home for more than four weeks.

Lindsay Miller has lived in public housing for five years and last year he was away for six weeks - something that under this new policy may have forced him on the streets.

"I was away for six weeks - my daughter was given two months to live," he said.

"This would have applied to me.

"It was a situation that no way in the world I could have complied to."

Friday was the first anniversary of her death.

The policy also requests the residents notify the government on exactly how long they'll be gone.

"I should have asked my daughter what day she was going to die," and emotional Mr Miller said.

"I don't think they've got the right to say, where are you going- that's my business.

"If you're working, does your boss say, okay you've got four weeks holiday where are you going?"

State Member for Hervey Bay Ted Sorensen told the Chronicle social housing was in high demand.

"The old rules were unfair because they meant properties often sat vacant for up to 12 months while the registered tenants were off on lengthy holidays or serving prison sentences," he said.

A cruel string of events forced Mr Miller to look for housing and government assistance about five years ago.

"Before that I had my own businesses," he said.

"My wife passed away all those sort of things.

"My eldest daughter, the one who's passed away now- had been in remission for 10 years."

Mr Sorensen said since the policy implementation, 676 social housing tenants received approvals for 722 temporary absences for a range of reasons.

Topics:  editors picks hervey bay public housing state government



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