The ACT government has defended its handling of safety issues at public housing complexes in Canberra, following allegations of a series of violent incidents at an inner-city public housing complex.
But the government would not directly answer questions in an estimates hearing about the problem-plagued Condamine Court in Turner, where vulnerable tenants have expressed fears for their lives.
The government said its program, called "Connecting Communities", was aimed at curbing anti-social behaviour at multi-unit public housing complexes. This was through greater engagement with housing staff, which spent more time on site, the hearing heard.
The program was implemented in July following a six-month pilot in 2019-20, but the hearing heard its rollout was hampered due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Homelessness and Housing Services Minister Rebecca Vassarotti said challenges had arisen around client services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Connecting Communities has been rolled out at Condamine and Housing ACT executive branch manager of client services Geoff Aigner said a complex of Condamine's size would have visits from a housing manager up to three times a week.
Liberal MLA Mark Parton pressed the government on issues surrounding the Turner public housing complex during the estimates hearing.
Allegations about a series of violent incidents at the inner-city public housing complex were reported in The Canberra Times last month.
Vulnerable residents from Condamine Court said they feared for their lives saying the place had been littered with blood, used syringes, squatters and threatening graffiti over the past year.
Mr Parton asked about safety concerns at Condamine Court. Mr Aigner did not address Condamine specifically, instead he spoke about multi-unit properties more broadly.
"Safety is a concern at any site we go to and both the officer who is going on site and of our tenants and support workers," he said.
"We have processes to monitor any incidents that happen on site through our own internal risk systems but absolutely it's a concern."
Mr Parton again pressed Ms Vassarotti and Mr Aigner on what was being done for tenants safety at the complex.
Mr Aigner replied: "If I could speak more generally about our multi-unit properties which we consider high-risk, so the connected communities is a way to bring focus to those kind of issues".
"Secondly we have a team which has those skillsets and are supported to look at more complex clients and communities.
"And thirdly this year we have been able to increase our insights and analytics around complaints and incidents on site, that's in its first phase."
Questions from Mr Parton about broken locks at the complex were taken on notice as maintenance falls under Housing Minister Yvette Berry.
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