WA Public housing tenants’ bill to taxpayers rises

Former public housing tenants have saddled taxpayers with debts of almost $50 million, with figures showing unpaid rent, repairs and utility bills have soared $15 million in two years.

The figures show former Housing Authority tenants left taxpayers with bills of more than $4 million last year, taking the total to $49 million, or more than $1300 for each house.

The amount owed by former and current public housing tenants has also hit a new high, reaching $57.5 million at the end of 2017-18, an increase of more than $2 million in a year.

But the State Government believes it is turning the trend around by forcing current tenants who owe money on to payment plans.

Occupied tenant debt is down from $11 million in 2016 to less than $8 million in June, including a 15 per cent fall in the past 12 months.

More than 20 per cent of the debt — almost $11 million — left by former tenants comes from the north metropolitan region. Residents in the East Kimberley owe almost $1.4 million and those in the Pilbara owe $1.3 million.

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Source: The West Australian