Fees waived for those doing it tough

IN recognition of the housing crisis and cost of living, Sunshine Coast Council has waived permit fees for those having to temporarily live in a tent, car, caravan or mobile home and who, due to extenuating circumstances, will find it difficult to pay.

Service Excellence and Customer Service Portfolio Councillor Christian Dickson said council understood rising housing pressures had placed a burden on many local families.

“Some people have no choice but to live in a temporary home until their circumstances improve,” Cr Dickson said.

“Prior to today’s decision, the $514 application fee to apply for a temporary home permit may have made it difficult for people struggling to make ends meet.

“Waiving the fee for those who are experiencing financial hardship or other legitimate circumstances such as family or domestic violence, will help them gain approval for temporary housing sooner.”

Approval is for a limited duration, depending on the type of temporary home:

• less than three months for a tent

• six months for a car

• 18 months for a bus, caravan, or mobile home.

Where more time is required, the fee to reapply for a temporary home approval is $392.

However where council has previously waived the fee, council will again take into account any extenuating circumstances.

Cr Dickson said no two cases were the same and council would carefully consider the circumstances of each application.

“I’m not going to pretend to know all the hardships people are going through and the local law and application fee may be preventing people having a safe place,” Cr Dickson said.