Housing Trust rates concern

Friday January 18, 2019

The Border Watch - Raquel Mustillo


THE impact of offloading stateowned Housing Trust properties to community housing providers would have a “reasonably significant” impact on rates, outgoing Mount Gambier City Council chief executive Mark McShane has warned. 

In his final general council meeting, Mr McShane said the potential widespread transfer of the city’s 1100 Housing Trust stock to notfor-profit organisations was among the “biggest” issues. 

Last year, independent MP Troy Bell said council would foot a $820,000 bill each year due to the mandatory rate rebates the houses attract. 

The previous State Government began the transfer of Housing Trust properties to the community hous ing sector, with councils across the state losing millions of dollars. 

Under state legislation, community housing providers are entitled to a 75pc discount on council rates. 

Mr McShane said while the current impact was small, any major changes would increase the rating burden on council. 

However, he acknowledged the State Government appeared to have slowed down the rate of transfer. 

“A lot of the stock is fairly aged and costs a lot to update ready for rental,” Mr McShane said. 

“Perhaps the non-government housing sector has reviewed their takeover of SA Housing stock. 

“It would appear from my intel that it has slowed down and not impacted us. 

“I think we need to be on the look out for any major changes in that space.”