Labor hit out on housing left to "ruin"

Labor have criticised the Marshall Liberal Government's level of support for the homeless in Whyalla, with 124 public housing properties left to "rack and ruin".

According to documents obtained by the State Opposition under Freedom Of Information (FOI), out of 124 empty properties only 11 were being offered to tenants as of July 31, 2021.

Giles MP Eddie Hughes accused the government of failing to maintain the properties or bring them up to scratch, despite a statewide housing crisis.

"(Having) 124 empty Housing Authority properties in Whyalla at a time of desperate housing need is a disgrace," he said.

"People on low incomes are struggling to find somewhere to live in Whyalla and elsewhere in regional South Australia.

"We know there is virtually no commitment to new build in regional South Australia and we now know there is no commitment to carrying out the maintenance needed to make existing properties available."

Shadow Human Services Minister Nat Cook said the situation was "entirely unacceptable" and questioned what the government was doing to support those in need of housing.

In a response, the state government stated there were a total of 2175 Housing SA properties in Whyalla.

They pointed out that in some instances tenants turn down multiple properties that are not in locations, or the style of their choice which can lead to vacancies.

Human Services Minister Michelle Lensink attacked Labor's public housing record, claiming they had "flogged off" 7,500 public homes worth $1.5 billion.

"You simply can't trust Labor - public housing vacancies peaked under Labor at almost 2220 homes in 2017," she said.

"In contrast, the Marshall Liberal Govenrment has this year delivered a record $168 million in public housing maintenance and we've put a stop to Labor's axe of flogging off thousands of public homes."