BETTER LUCK: Bill Williamson, 82, had recently been living in his van but has secured public housing.
BETTER LUCK: Bill Williamson, 82, had recently been living in his van but has secured public housing. Liana Turner

Man, 82, housed as many still left waiting

AN ELDERLY man, who'd had no fixed address for close to two decades, has been granted public housing.

Bill Williamson, 82, recently spoke to the Tweed Daily News about concerns he had been fined for sleeping in his vehicle at Chinderah.

At the time, he said there was nowhere else for him to go, and no affordable homes for him to rent.

You Have a Friend founder John Lee said his organisation had been urging Tweed Shire Council to waive Mr Williamson's fine.

Since he spoke publicly about his situation, Mr Williamson has been granted a home.

"I'm very happy for Bill,” Mr Lee said.

"I'm over the moon for him.”

But Mr Lee has expressed dire concerns for three other homeless residents, one of whom is suffering from an acute medical condition and a severely swollen leg.

"He has been waiting (for a house) for eight years,” Mr Lee said.

"He tells me that housing said he'd have to wait another two years.”

One 50-year-old woman has already been on the waiting list for a decade.

"I'm happy for Bill, but I just have to wonder why the other three who are seriously in dire situations... are still waiting,” he said.

"Two of those people have major medical issues.”

Mr Lee said he had written to the Department of Housing and Geoff Provest on Monday and hadn't received any response.

He said he had previously been given assurances these three residents were on the "priority” list, but no time frame was given for their potential placement within a public house.

Mr Provest was approached for comment.



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