Remembering a Commission which served us well | Letter

A COMMISSION TO HELP: This Maxwell Avenue house was divided into three social housing units. Photo: JUDE KEOGH
A COMMISSION TO HELP: This Maxwell Avenue house was divided into three social housing units. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

WE have just had homeless week and very little response from the government.

Back in the late 40s we had a huge lack of housing due to depression and WWII, people living in garages, converted chook sheds, and on the street in tents.

The government – a little more sympathetic to the problem – set up the Housing Commission to overcome the problem. Funded from both state and federal governments they were completely independent, with a commissioner leading the organisation.

They were a complete in-house organisation: purchasing the land, subdividing, designing and building the houses, maintenance selecting the tenants, collecting rents and managing the tenants.

The department had complete control: one organisation, very little overheads, and most of the money actually going providing housing.

Charles Everett

By 1970 they were taking over a cottage every 20 minutes across the state. There were some problems but overall the scheme as it was set up worked well.

Then in the late 70s the organisation became a government department and started deteriorating, consultants giving the running of the houses to outside societies.

Before this the department had complete control: one organisation, very little overheads, and most of the money actually going providing housing.

Now you have consultant’s fees, all the different body’s set-up costs, money being spent other than on housing, 10-year waiting lists, and the present government doing little to overcome the problem and expecting the private sector to overcome the problem.

Just like selling the power supplies leading to higher prices, Telecom falling to pieces, and the Commonwealth Bank fleecing customers.

When will they take the responsibility they were originally set up for?

Charles Everett

DO YOU WANT MORE ORANGE NEWS?

  • You can now receive headlines and story links from the Central Western Daily delivered straight to your inbox at 6am six days a week, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up here

Comments