THE City of Bayswater is spending money on maintaining State Government-owned properties, a council report has revealed.
A Community Housing Program report presented to council last week revealed $70,121 of ratepayers’ money was used for capital works and other maintenance on 10 Department of Housing properties in Bayswater.
The works on Francis Street and Haddrill Street units included new carpets, roof repointing and painting, installing security screens and doors as well as the internal painting of one property.
Councillor Chris Cornish said he was concerned that the City was using ratepayers’ money on State Government responsibilities. ‘We are covering 100 per cent of the maintenance costs,’ he said.
‘I don’t know how this benefits the people I represent, it only benefits 10 people.
‘I ran on council as I am often reminded to reduce rates; when I see $70,000 going to a state issue, I have a problem with that.’
Mayor Sylvan Albert said a workshop would be held by the City to better manage the community housing program.
But Department of Housing commercial and business operations acting general manager Nigel Hindmarsh said the City used rental money collected from the tenants to cover the costs of the maintenance.
He said this was a part of the Deeds of Trust which was signed in the early 1990s and the units are considered to be community housing managed by local government.
‘These properties are tenanted from the department’s waiting list and provide subsidised community housing for seniors,’ he said.
‘The Deeds of Trust were put in place to increase the number of affordable housing options and provide an alternative to public housing that includes local community support for tenants with specific needs, such as aged-care services.’
Mr Hindmarsh said the City did not hold equity in the properties and did not provide capital for the construction.
He said the department had similar agreements with other local governments for 165 properties.
Mr Hindmarsh said more public housing was being created within the City of Bayswater to meet demand.