Michael Berkman calls for more social housing
20 August 2019
In January, Greens MP Michael Berkman and Councillor Jonathan Sri supported tenants’ calls for the State government to intervene to stop the evictions, and turn the homes into social housing. They also called on Queensland Police and ASIC investigate the mismanagement of the homes by the private owner.
Greens MP Michael Berkman:
“This situation smells dodgy.
“These houses were apparently free from debt, then suddenly they went under the hammer in a fire sale without residents’ knowledge or consent - and no one could tell us where the money went.
“If there’s still no recourse for ASIC to take steps with all this apparent impropriety, the State government needs to take a good look at how exactly this happened, and how they’ll prevent it from happening again.
“It shouldn’t be up to these tenants, including elders and disabled Indigenous tenants who’ve been evicted through no fault of their own, to fight this.
“Legal action is expensive and time consuming.
“This saga - which is also the latest episode in a long history of dispossession for Aboriginal people - is emblematic of Queensland’s deeply broken approach to housing.
“The proportion of social housing continues to decline across the State, as more than 30,000 Queenslanders languish on the social housing wait list.
“Renters and first home-buyers routinely get screwed over, and it’s often far worse for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who face discrimination in the private rental market.
“The Labor State government continues to throw billions of dollars at new prisons, but claims it can’t afford new social housing. In reality, this is about priorities.
“It’s time we stopped treating housing as a commodity, and started treating it as a fundamental right.”