A GROUP of Birkdale public housing residents is ready to take on the state government after a letter asking them to consider moving or sharing their homes with "those who cannot afford appropriate housing".
The letter, signed by Housing Minister Bruce Flegg, claims the state's public housing "is in crisis" with 8700 under-occupied units and more than 30,000 people applying for public housing.
The letter suggests moving or "downsizing" tenants from under-occupied properties or introducing voluntary shared housing.
It also asks public housing tenants to dob in any undeclared household members by July27.
Tenants who don't declare all household members are threatened with being forced to "back pay rent at the rate of 25 per cent of household income".
Birkdale resident Corinne Noordhoorn, who lives in a two-bedroom public housing unit in Napier Street, said she was appalled, angered and scared after reading the letter.
She rents one of the 1861 public housing units in the Redland local government area, where there were 16 vacant properties in May.
She said she moved into public housing in 2006 after suffering spinal injuries that left her a paraplegic and wheelchair-bound.
"I've lived in Napier Street for about three-and-a-half years and it was brand new when I moved in," Ms Noordhoorn said.
"To think of sharing this unit is impossible because with a wheelchair there is not much room.
"I also need to have full access to the bathroom at all times.
"I do have a spare room but it is for a carer or a nurse and as I get older I believe I will need live-in care.
"We will be fighting this and so far I have organisations such as the Spinal Injuries Association on our side," she said.
Ms Noorhoorn was one of about 1000 tenants in Redland to receive the letter, which includes a box for suggestions on how to solve the public housing crisis.
Cleveland MP Mark Robinson, whose electorate covers Birkdale, moved to allay residents' fears and said sharing of property would only be on a voluntary basis.
"Far too much of the public housing in Queensland is two or more bedrooms and designed for families, when in many cases the need is only for a sole occupant," Mr Robinson said.
"We have too much of the wrong housing stock due to changes in families and society.
"This move is trying to find optimal ways to address those changes and the huge backlog of public housing requests the Labor government left," he said.