RESIDENTS of George Street in Korumburra are relieved something is finally being done about a rental property that has sat empty for almost two years.
The house, owned by Aboriginal Housing Victoria, is “earmarked for disposal”, meaning it will soon be put up for sale.
George Street residents Nancye Harley and Nance Brown are glad to hear it after seeing the house neglected and falling into disrepair while many people have been desperate for rental accommodation.
“I can’t understand how it can be sitting there with no one in it. If so many people need housing, it shouldn’t be empty,” Nancye said.
“I’m relieved to know something’s finally happening but it should’ve happened last year.
“It’s just sad that it’s being wasted and not being put to good use. Hopefully it’ll sell soon and we’ll see it rented out by someone who needs housing.
“That’s what we’ve all wanted to happen,” she said.
Nance Brown described the house as “a disgrace to the town”.
“There are no homes for rent and it’s just sitting there falling apart when people could make use of it,” she said.
Neighbours have also been concerned about the fire and asthma risks posed by the waist-high grass and out of control weeds taking over the property.
For the second summer in a row, Nancye, not knowing who owned the property, contacted the South Gippsland Shire Council to ask that something be done about the unruly garden.
After waiting three weeks for a response, Nancye was told on December 13 that the property would be cleaned up after Christmas; however, as of last week, this had still not been done.
“We’re just waiting for a fire. Two weeks after I notified the shire, a car pulled up and had a look, but nothing’s been done,” she said.
Aboriginal Housing Victoria’s acting CEO John Templeman said the George Street property was the only AHV property in the South Gippsland/Bass Coast area and that rather than fixing up the house, the agency would rather sell it and invest in other areas where there is higher demand for their services.
“From our perspective it would cost too much too repair. It’s more cost effective to acquire another property,” he said.
Mr Templeman said releasing the property to the public would be “a good outcome” and that the agency was hoping to turn it over quickly.
He said the property was formerly owned by the Department of Health and Human Services and that ownership was only transferred to AHV in July, 2017.
“We couldn’t make any decisions until ownership was transferred, which was only six months ago, so we have moved quite quickly,” he said. “It takes time to get through all the legal hoops.”
Movement on ‘wasted’ house