Public Housing amnesty on offer in August
South Australia's public housing tenants will be offered an amnesty in August to provide details of any undeclared income or household members without being penalised.
Minister for Social Housing, Tony Piccolo, said Housing SA has written to all tenants advising them of the month-long amnesty, which begins on August 1.
He said Housing SA want to hear from a range of tenants, including people who aren't sure whether they're paying the right rent, tenants whose circumstances have changed, but are concerned about possible penalties, and people who know they should be paying more rent.
"This amnesty gives them the chance to tell Housing SA about any undeclared household members or additional income without the risk of penalty and no requirement to pay back any historical rental shortfalls.
"Other community members can also anonymously report a situation where they believe there is an unapproved household member or additional income in a public housing property."
Mr Piccolo said the move had proven effective in other states.
"This is about delivering a fairer public housing system for our tenants," he said.
"Rental income is used for maintenance work on existing properties, as well as giving helping fund new Housing SA homes to support South Australians on low incomes.
"That's why it's so important tenants pay a fair amount of rent for their property.
"We've seen from other jurisdictions that many tenants take the opportunity to update their details during an amnesty, to ensure they're paying a fair amount of rent.
"Tenants who do not declare during the amnesty and are later found to be doing the wrong thing will face penalties, including paying back rent and – in some cases – the potential termination of their tenancy agreement."
Mr Piccolo said declarations will be accepted over the phone on 1300 138 093 during business hours, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by submitting an online form at www.sa.gov.au/housingsa/amnesty
The Amnesty will run from 1 to 31 August 2013.