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Public housing amnesty offered to SA residents

30 Jul 13

Public housing tenants in South Australia will want to pay attention to this bit of real estate advice.

Housing SA is offering a month-long amnesty in an effort to encourage tenants to provide them with the latest and most accurate data.

The amnesty will allow tenants to provide details of any undeclared income or household members, without facing a penalty.

It will also act as a forum for Housing SA to answer questions tenants may have - for example, whether they are paying the correct rent - and should also help those whose circumstances have changed but are unsure whether they will incur penalties.

"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," said Tony Piccolo, minister for social housing, in a Thursday (July 25) media release.

"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 added that the move was in response to similar amnesties in other states, which had proven effective.

"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," he said.

"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."

The amnesty will run for the entire month of August 2013.

Members of the public can make declarations through a variety of channels:

- Over the phone on 1300 138 093 during business hours;
- Emailing housingsa.amnesty@dcsi.sa.gov.au; or
- Submitting an online form at www.sa.gov.au/housingsa/amnesty.

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