Theodore's Indigenous housing to be sold off

EVERY home used to house Indigenous families in Theodore will be sold to pay a mountain of unpaid rent.

The CEO of Indigenous Housing Services CQ Limited (IHSCQ), Janet Lee, told Central Telegraph that Central Queensland Regional Indigenous Housing Organisation (CQRIHO), the body that owns the properties and is under the umbrella of IHSCQ, is being wound up.

She said that due to an estimated $95,000 in rental arrears from four houses and two units, CQRIHO would shut down.

“Not one of the tenants who are in arrears is making any effort to pay these outstandings. I approached one of the tenants and she called her son and he started to abuse and humiliate me,” Ms Lee said.

Other unpaid rent, involving properties in Emerald and Rockhampton, has led to the company being owed half a million dollars.

The tenants will have a roof over their heads - with a 12-month lease signed on July 10 when the properties were placed with an agent. They are also protected by the Residential Tenancy Act.

The organisation spent about $80,000 per house on refurbishments and the same amount on the units, which were abandoned by the tenants.

Ms Lee said that IHSCQ was not a State or Commonwealth funded organisation, but was listed by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) as a public company, with limited liability.

Ms Lee said according to the Corporations Act the properties have to be disposed off in an orderly manner.

This was being done through Ray White, Moura.

She said notices had been served on tenants advising the properties were being put on the market.

A real estate representative also met with the tenants to answer their questions.

“The funds from the sale of these properties will be invested into palliative care/aged care facilities in CQ for those Murris who are in need of such facilities,” Ms Lee said.

She was hopeful of having the properties sold and CQRIHO wound up by the end of the year.

The future of IHSCQ is unclear, but Ms Lee is leaving the organisation in April next year to study overseas.

Chairperson of IHSCQ Stan Beezley said the board backed Mrs Lee's action in winding up CQRIHO, which had started under former CEO Thalep Ahmat.

He said it was a sad day, but due to the amount of unpaid rent, there was nothing they could do but wind it up.

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