This letter, written by a happy TAAS client, was printed in last Wednesday’s Wynnum Herald. TAAS will now continue operating for a further six months through the largess of the Commonwealth government. Funding will be channelled through the Tenants’ Union of Queensland who will sub-contract local TAAS providers. Let’s hope the long term funding issue is resolved with the State over the coming few months.
Reprinted from Courier Mail today. You can read article directly their website here and make comments at the bottom.
TAAS was described as valuable but unaffordable, despite it being funded from tenant bond interest and not taxpayer dollars.
In hindsight, this decision seems a knee-jerk reaction by a new government looking to make easy savings but as well as being self-funded, the program works predominantly with people in private housing to keep them housed independently.
The work is frontline and local. All of these aspects seem to align with the LNP philosophy, the direction identified by Premier Campbell Newman last year and the Queensland Commission of Audit. Continue reading
Reprinted from the Queensland Times Ipswich May 28 by Joel Gould
THE Ipswich Regional Advocacy Service (IRASI) is set to receive an extra six months of funding from the Federal Government to continue its work providing advice and advocacy services to vulnerable tenants.
Blair MP Shayne Neumann said the government would provide a $2.5 million life-raft to the LNP State Government to keep the Queensland Tenant Advice and Advocacy Services (QTAAS) going so long as it was accepted by the Premier Campbell Newman.
Mr. Neumann said the State Government’s decision to defend QTAAS was “hanging like a black cloud over the head of this vital local service”.
IRASI’s contract ends next month on June 30 and Mr. Neumann said “the decision by the LNP State Government has been short-sighted, legally senseless and economically irrational.
“This service is recognized as a core state and territory responsibility with every other jurisdiction in Australia funding tenant advice and advocacy services,” he said.
“Every day the dedicated workers at IRASI work hard to help tenants keep a roof over their head and avoid becoming homeless.
“They deserve to know what their future holds.
“QTAAS services are critical in preventing homelessness and supporting vulnerable tenants.”
Minister for Housing and Public Works Tim Mender told The QT recently that the government would be “redirecting funds from TAAS in order to provide additional social housing for our neediest Queenslanders”.
“The services provided by QTAAS are available through other government agencies like the Residential Tenancies Authority, through government-funded programs like Rent Connect and other community organisations,” he said.
This morning Steve Austin’s program on ABC 612 featured an piece about the tenant advice services and the offer from the Commonwealth to fund them. Click here to listen to Housing Minister Mander trying to explain why it is a good idea not to take $2.5M to help Queensland battlers and the Tenants’ Union of Queensland’s response to that.
Another Brisbane Times article about the State government’s refusal of money to keep tenant services going. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/funding-offer-wont-dictate-policy-on-tenant-service-lnp-20130529-2naqu.html
You can make comments at the bottom.
Read this article in today’s Brisbane Times by clicking here. There is space for comments at the bottom.
Tenancy advice play the ultimate waiting game
Reprinted from the Daily Mercury 27th May 2013. Read from website here.
KONI Johnson is playing the ultimate waiting game as her future looms in the hands of the State Government.
Ms Johnson is Mackay’s Tenancy Advice and Advocacy Service’s co-ordinator and doesn’t know if she’ll have a job after the end of next month.
Last year the State Government pulled the plug on funding for more than 20 tenancy advice services. The Federal Government stepped in with funding, which allowed the services to operate until the end of June.
Last week it announced it would provide a further $2.5 million to keep the services open for another six months, but it is unclear if the State Government will accept this funding.
If not, Ms Johnson said she and her other two staff members would be out of work, leaving Mackay’s tenants without support.
“We’re in limbo land; it’s a rollercoaster ride that is full of ups and downs,” she said. Continue reading
By Elise Worthington (reprinted from ABC News online)
Federal Housing Minister Mark Butler is threatening to withhold funding from the state as part of a dispute over the Queensland Tenant Advice and Advocacy Service (QTAAS).
Last year, the Queensland Government scrapped funding, forcing the Commonwealth to step in to keep the service running until the end of June.
Mr Butler says he will provide a further $2.5 million to keep QTAAS running for six months, if the State Government agrees to a long-term solution.
He says he wrote to Queensland Premier Campbell Newman earlier this week but is yet to get a response.
Mr Butler says he will have to reassess other funding deals if the Queensland Government will not guarantee its future.
“I’ve also made it clear to the Newman Government though that we reserve the right – if they don’t do this – not only to withhold the $2.5 million, but to review other arrangements we have with the Newman Government in the housing area, to ensure that really they look at this again with some common sense,” he said. Continue reading
Read today’s Brisbane Times article here.
Congratulations Home Assist Secure, very good news! The following is yesterday’s press release from State Housing Minister Mander’s office. The state will continue to fund Home Assist Secure, a program that helps people remain in their private homes – owner occupied or private rental (see second last paragraph) and off the social housing wait list. Sounds familiar to us because TAAS services assist private renters stay more safely and securely housed, reducing social housing demand. Only difference is that TAAS is self funded by a small percentage of consumers’ bond interest! Keep up the good work Home Assist Secure!
Home Assist Secure program to continue – Press Release
Minister for Housing & Public Works The Hon Tim Mander
Housing and Public Works Minister Tim Mander has announced the Home Assist Secure program will continue to be funded throughout 2013–14.
The program provides funding to improve the lifestyle of elderly and disabled residents living in privately-owned accommodation.
Mr Mander said almost $18 million will be allocated to service providers in 41 locations around Queensland. Continue reading
Listen in at 5.30pm today to hear about tenants across the country using the tenancy tribunal. On ABC Triple J’s Hack program at 5.30pm.
Reprinted. Read directly from The Bulletin here. (April 12)
Help will be harder to get for CQ renters come July
HELP for Rocky’s battlers could get harder if funding of their rental advocacy group is stopped in June.
“The Tenancy Advice and Advocacy Service got short-term relief money from the Federal Government after the Queensland Government pulled the funding last year,” CQ Consumers’ Association chairman Dan McIntyre said.
“The federal funding kept the service going but that expires on June 30.”
An average of 180 people a month sought help from the tenancy service last year, most of them from the Rockhampton Regional Council area, and a small number from the Central Highlands and Central West areas. Continue reading