Bundy in firing line of illegal housing crackdown
ILLEGAL accommodation houses in Bundaberg will be investigated as part of a State Government crackdown into unregistered boarding houses.
Last month Housing Minister Mick de Brenni announced the department would launch a targeted investigation into unregulated operations.
He's now revealed his department is now investigating 33 properties after receiving 11 new inquiries about 14 houses.
Mr de Brenni said the department had begun investigating the properties in Bundaberg, Brisbane, Caboolture, Ipswich and on the Gold Coast.
He said seven ongoing inquiries involving up to 19 properties were underway before his announcement.
Mr de Brenni said the department's investigations into unregistered boarding houses was to make sure people were living in safe and secure accommodation.
"Exploitation and unsafe practices have too often been common place in unregistered accommodation," he said.
"As an example, last year my department investigated an unregistered boarding housing operating on a property stacked in with up to 40 adults at one time.
"They identified a lack of adequate training of staff and volunteers, as well as a lack of safety procedures and support for people with medical or mental health conditions. Concerns were also raised about overcharging for rent and meals."
Bundaberg Regional Council has also sought to clean up unsafe accommodation houses. In 2014 it received 127 complaints involving backpackers in residential accommodation, almost double the 65 it received in 2013.
Its own factsheet clearly states backpackers and itinerant farm workers could only be accommodated in houses and units if a development approval had first been obtained.
"These types of arrangements put people at risk, which is why it's important that registration and standards are in place."
Concerned members of the public who want to report a suspected unregistered boarding house can phone the Department of Housing and Public Works on 3008 3450, or email residentialservices@
Click here for more information about the targeted investigation.
TELL TALE SIGNS OF AN UNREGISTERED BOARDING HOUSING
- Too many residents
- Regularly changing tenants
- The continual advertising of vacancies