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ACT owed $1.4m in public housing rent

ACT owed $1.4m in public housing rent

Freedom of Information documents show there were 1,421 public housing tenants in rental arrears in May. 

The latest figures show public housing rent arrears in the ACT total $1.4 million.

ACT Government documents revealed under Freedom of Information show there were 1,421 public housing tenants in rental arrears in May.

Most tenants owing funds were in Canberra's southern suburbs.

The Freedom of Information request also asked for the number of tenants facing termination orders but the request was denied, saying it was unreasonable to manually search the records of each of Housing ACT's more than 11,000 tenants.

The documents also reveal Housing ACT spent $88,000 in 2011-2012 on legal retainers to deal with residential tenancy matters, increasing to $110,000 this financial year.

The figure does not include other external legal services.

But ACT Housing Minister Shane Rattenbury says figures showing high public housing rent arrears are not as bad as they might seem.

Mr Rattenbury says most ACT Housing tenants pay their rent on time.

"We receive 99 per cent of the rent that we charge public housing tenants," he said.

"These figures are comparable to the private sector rental market and we've also got a program where a tenant who does get four weeks behind in their rent or with a debt exceeding $500 is required to enter onto a payment plan."


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