An average of 70 new people put their names on the waiting list for government-subsidised housing every day.
To help manage this increased demand for housing assistance, a number of changes are gradually being made by the department to ensure that assistance goes to those in greatest need for the duration of their need.
One of these changes is a new client intake and assessment process, which will start in September this year. A letter explaining this new process has been sent to applicants on the existing waitlist.
The department has also been reviewing the eligibility of existing tenants. These reviews found that over 4,200 households were no longer eligible for housing assistance because they earned over $80,000 per year or owned or part-owned property, or they failed to provide their income or property ownership information to theÂ department.
Over 750 of these households did the right thing and moved out of their departmental property. More than 3,000 households requested a review of their circumstances and most were found to be eligible to remain in their housing.
However, I was concerned that some households did not respond to the department's requests for information about their income or property ownership. For these households, and those who were found to be ineligible, the department has no option but to pursue eviction.
It will be an ongoing priority for the department to continue to work with tenants who could sustain a tenancy in the private market or move to home ownership, to help them free up dwellings for people in greater need.
Minister for Public Works, Housing and Information and Communication Technology