Tenants living in Katherine South’s Bernhard Street public housing will soon have a new landlord.
The Northern Territory St Vincent de Paul Society recently won the tender to lease the properties from the Department of Housing and Community Development.
The move comes only months after the NT Government’s $69 million housing repairs and maintenance program, which saw the units on Bernhard Street undergo critical repairs.
A St Vincent de Paul spokesman said, “(Vinnies) is currently working through the transition process with the Department of Housing and Community Development and the tenants.”
“Vinnies is committed to providing affordable housing solutions in the Northern Territory and the leasing arrangement with the Department [of Housing] is part of extending our services to the Katherine community to provide people with affordable accommodation and wrap around services.
“This program adds to our existing services in the Territory which currently provide 273 people a night with safe and secure accommodation,” he said.
Tenants have begun to receive letters of notice explaining the move of management.
However, it is still relatively up in the air what the new agreement will look like for the residents, some of which have lived in the units for more than 10 years.
The St Vincent de Paul Society spokesman said client financial capacities will be reviewed on a case by case basis to determine what their rent might cost under the new management.
“Current tenants have the option to stay in the property and enter into a new lease with Vinnies,” the spokesman said.
“We have entered into a leasing arrangement with the Department [of Housing] to manage the tenancies of the units. We want to ensure all current tenants and stakeholders that we will be here to support them to ensure a smooth transition into the new leasing arrangement.
“Our aim is to provide supported affordable accommodation and link tenants with wrap around services if needed.”
The St Vincent de Paul Society is a Catholic organisation which aims to alleviate social justice issues such as homelessness and poverty.
According to St Vincent de Paul Society, more than 23,000 people were assisted by the Northern Territory branch in 2017/2018 period.
The Department of Housing and Community Development has been contacted for further comment.
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