Mark Fowler (15 August 2014)
The Queensland Government has developed a 10 year Queensland Housing Affordability Strategy with the aim to provide a Queensland vision for reducing homelessness and a framework for the development of homelessness community action plans.
Furthering this objective, on 7 August 2014 the Government introduced the Queensland Building and Construction Commission and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 into Parliament. The Bill seeks to amend the Housing Act 2003 and the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 to support the goal of transferring management of 90 per cent of social housing to the community housing sector by 2020. Proposed amendments include:
- facilitating the transfer of confidential client information, protected by law, to support the provider to continue delivering services that are responsive and targeted to the needs of clients;
- enabling the chief executive to delegate certain housing services functions to suitably qualified and experienced persons, which may include employees of an approved provider;
- extending the statutory obligation on clients to not give false or misleading housing service information to providers delivering funded services, to ensure services are provided to eligible people in need;
- allowing an approved provider to update and maintain records on the Housing Register; and
- amending the mechanism by which providers become the lessor of existing public housing tenancies by providing for a deemed termination and re-grant of the tenancy agreements after the provider gives the State notice.
Prior to the implementation of the above, the Government invites interested persons and organisations to provide submissions by 5pm on Thursday, 21 August 2014.
Community housing sector entities who are considering tendering for stock transfers may wish to consider lodging submissions in relation to the Bill. Without providing an exhaustive list, we consider the following issues may be relevant:
1. The scope of information required to be received to accurately facilitate the proposed management;
2. A clear outline of the functions and operations required from the approved provider;
3. The extent to which the approved provider may be:
a. Liable for a breach of the relevant legislation by third parties or as a result of the transfer; and
b. Indemnified for such breach by the government.
If you require assistance in drafting a submission please contact us.
DISCLAIMER: This update contains general information only. The information is not all inclusive and should not be considered to be legal advice. You should always obtain legal advice for your specific circumstances before relying on general information.