A quick history:
* The Tenant Advice and Advocacy Service Program (TAAS) was discontinued last October by the State government. Funding to all 23 community based services was withdrawn despite the money being generated from the interest on tenants bond money, rather than tax payer dollars.|
* The Commonwealth government provided emergency funding for TAAS services across Queensland from November 1 to June 30 this year.
* The Commonwealth have insisted on the State funding tenant advice and advocacy services as a part of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness which will provide funding for homelessness services.
* The State has not announced what it will do. However, after many months of stating that TAAS services are valuable but they can’t afford them, it has started to say that tenants’ needs can be covered by the statutory body, the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA), and other community services such as community legal services.
* The RTA has not and cannot provide the same services as tenant advice services namely:
- See tenants face to face
- Provide assistance with letters and forms
- Make representations to the lessor
- Provide advice and assistance with preparing for tribunal hearings.
- The standard RTA call is about 5 minutes, much less than the TAAS advice work.
* Community legal centres have made strong statements that they cannot pick up the load
* The Commonwealth have now offered the State another $2.5 million to fund tenant services for 6 months as long as the State funds them after that
* The State is indicating that nothing has changed and they do not want to fund tenant services –http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/tenant-service-in-deep-water-despite-life-raft-20130522-2k13o.html