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Amnesty for public housing tenants in SA

30 July 2013 Reporter

Public housing tenants in South Australia have been given a month to provide details of undeclared income or household members without being penalised.

Minister for Social Housing Tony Piccolo said Housing SA had written to all tenants advising them of the month-long amnesty, beginning this Thursday.

The department wanted to hear from tenants, including those who weren’t sure whether they were paying the right rent, tenants whose circumstances have changed but were concerned about possible penalties, and people who knew they should be paying more rent.

"This amnesty gives them the chance to tell Housing SA about any undeclared household members or additional income without the risk of penalty and no requirement to pay back any historical rental shortfalls,” Mr Piccolo said.

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"Other community members can also anonymously report a situation where they believe there is an unapproved household member or additional income in a public housing property."

Mr Piccolo added that the initiative was about delivering a fairer public housing system for their tenants.

"Rental income is used for maintenance work on existing properties, as well as helping fund new Housing SA homes to support South Australians on low incomes," he said.

"That's why it's so important tenants pay a fair amount of rent for their property."

Mr Piccolo said the move had been utilised effectively in other states.

"We've seen from other jurisdictions that many tenants take the opportunity to update their details during an amnesty, to ensure they're paying a fair amount of rent," he said.

"Tenants who do not declare during the amnesty and are later found to be doing the wrong thing will face penalties, including paying back rent and – in some cases – the potential termination of their tenancy agreement."

Amnesty for public housing tenants in SA
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