Social housing ‘not the cause of criminal activity’ in Belmont, says Godfrey

Social housing ‘not the cause of criminal activity’ in Belmont, says Godfrey

BELMONT MLA Glenys Godfrey has acknowledged the suburb has an issue with pockets of condensed public housing but has dismissed claims it is causing criminal activity.

“Having said that, it is recognised across the world that grouping public housing into concentrated groups lends itself to anti-social behaviour,” she said.

“I have seen many vulnerable State housing tenants preyed upon by friends and relatives who move in for free accommodation; they are often the cause of crime spikes.”

Mrs Godfrey said she was a big supporter of the State Government’s Assisted Pathways program because it would allow people to get ahead without the fear of being punished for getting a job.

“Under the current system, getting a job, even a low paying job, can mean losing your home before you are able to afford another one,” she said.

The Assisted Rental Pathways Trial is aimed at shifting social housing applicants off the waiting list and into the private rental market.

Housing Minister Brendan Grylls has committed $14 million to help 200 applicants move into private rentals.

The participants will receive subsidised rent and support.

Mrs Godfrey’s goal is to have public housing to a level where no area was known for State housing.

“I am proud that the State Government is increasing its State housing stock by 1000 homes because we need it, but having streets in Belmont with over 60 per cent State housing is just wrong,” she said.

Labor candidate for Belmont Cassie Rowe said her party had not launched a policy on public housing.

“I’m not planning on focusing on that;, I haven’t heard any residents say it is an issue,” she said.

“But I doubt Labor has any plans to expand public housing in the area; it was the previous Labor government’s policy to break up public housing.”