The ACT government will demolish and rebuild a $2.6 million public housing complex that was built less than 10 years ago.
The Braddon units have sat empty for five years, after tenants were forced out due to fire safety and construction concerns.
In that time it has fallen into a state of disrepair with extensive property damage evident and the basement car park is flooded.
ACT housing opposition spokesman Mark Parton said the situation was "rubbish". He said he had first asked the government about the units in 2018 and was "genuinely astounded" the units were still in the same condition.
"$2.6 million is what it costs [ACT taxpayers] to build these places and they're just sitting here," he said.
Mr Parton spoke at the complex, alongside Opposition Leader Elizabeth Lee on Wednesday morning.
"The question that every Canberran should be asking this government is 'Why have you allowed this type of situation to continue for five years?'" Ms Lee said.
But an ACT government spokeswoman said a development application had been lodged to demolish the complex and rebuild another 10 public housing properties on the site.
The government was engaged in a legal battle with the complex builder, there were arguments about whether the building had a 'Type A' or 'Type B' fire rating. The ACT government spokeswoman confirmed the matter had been finalised but would not comment further.
Housing Minister Yvette Berry did not comment specifically on the Braddon property but said the government was committed to renewing 1000 properties and building at another 400 public housing properties.
Mr Parton also raised questions about Housing ACT's contract with its maintenance provider, Programmed.
"I don't know what's going on on the maintenance front ... I get the impression that there is a shortfall in maintenance that's being done by Programmed at the moment," he said.
In an interview on ABC Canberra Radio, Mr Parton said he had received reports from tenants that Programmed had run out of the government's tender money.
But the government spokeswoman said the maintenance budget had not been exceeded this financial year. The Canberra Times also asked Programmed but a spokeswoman said inquiries on the contract needed to go to Housing ACT.
Housing ACT has previously indicated they needed to manage the budget this year.
Last month at estimates, Mr Parton asked Housing ACT officials why work for local subcontractors, employed by Programmed, had ceased at the beginning of January.
Work had decreased but this was only because 2020 was busier than normal and the budget needed to be managed this year, Housing ACT executive branch manager Catherine Loft said.
"We had an incredibly busy year last year. We spent more than we had forecast due to attending to crisis. We had the fires, the smoke, COVID, increased maintenances complaints. We did not stop, we did not turn the tap off on the funding," she said.
"We went into this year's budget to complete the crisis work that we needed to do last year. This year, we are managing our budgets and our work orders.
"We are making sure that any maintenance to keep the properties and the tenants safe happens. However, we are looking at what needs to be completed to keep those tenants safe, considering that we did overspend last year around the crisis."
Housing ACT's contract with Programmed was recently examined by the ACT Auditor-General Michael Harris.
Mr Harris found in there was an overspend of $7.5 million on reimbursable expenses for work performed under the contract last year. A total of $51.83 million was spent.
"Poor financial management systems and processes meant that the overspend was not identified until June 2020 and quantified until September 2020," the audit report said.
"The overspend occurred despite comprehensive governance and performance management arrangements."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: