Editorial: Is selling off homes the right option?

Editorial: IT'S hard not to feel sorry for people like Elizabeth Laidler, who face losing their homes over unpaid rates bills.

Owning your own home is considered almost a right for Australians, rather than a privilege - it's part of the great Australian dream.

But sadly, as wages fail to keep up with the rising cost of living and house prices soar in capital cities, it's a dream that may become out of reach for ordinary Australians, even on the Fraser Coast.

The half a million dollars owed by people behind on their rates is not a small chunk of change, and people who do manage to scrape together the money to pay rates shouldn't be penalised by subsidising those who can't make ends meet.

But auctioning someone's home has to be the absolute last resort.

It's one thing to sell someone's investment property or a vacant block of land, but it's an entirely different conundrum when there are families still living in the properties.

They do get ample notice of an impending sale, but if a home owner can't afford to pay back the council, it seems likely they would also struggle to afford the costs involved in moving into rental accommodation.

I do wonder what other ratepayers will think about the sale though.

Is it too harsh, or is the council doing the right thing by the majority?

Let us know what you think, email editorial@frasercoastchronicle.com.au.