Sale likely for empty cop homes in Cairns
SEVERAL houses in the Far North belonging to Queensland Police that have been left vacant for more than two years could be sold on the open market after a review of all State Government housing.
The properties, which are scattered around the region, are meant to be used for police re-locating to the area, but with several needing costly upgrades and officers turning them down in favour of purchasing their own homes, a number have been left isolated for months on end.
It is believed one house at Brinsmead has not been lived in for close to three years.
Far North acting Assistant Commissioner Paul Taylor admitted it was becoming more difficult to fill the vacancies given officers' shorter lengths of stay in the region and changing social circumstances.
"A number have been vacant for a while and this happens from time to time," he said.
"One of the challenges is trying to get police in for a short time, because people want an end date."
He said it was hoped they would be able to offload some pending the review.
"We do what we can. We manage housing stock as best we can. Some do need more work than others.
"We'd look at selling them to the market. We would like to shrink the number down to what we need and needs do change."
A Queensland Police Service spokesperson said an internal housing review had been running for some time, but had now been consumed by the government-wide review.
"A number of properties have been identified for potential disposal as part of a regional residential rationalisation and as such have been vacated," the spokesperson said.
"It is expected that review will be completed by the end of the financial year."
A spokesperson for the Department of Housing and Public Works, which is conducting the audit, said the department would look at all government employee housing.
"The audit will assess the residences against approved standards for condition, security and safety," they said.
"This will enable the Government to focus funding on those areas with the greatest need."
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Empty: One of many unoccupied police houses.