Reprinted from ABC News online Thu 22 Aug 2013
Western Australia’s peak housing advocacy organisation wants the State Government to scrap its policy of evicting public housing tenants for minor disturbances.
Shelter WA is urging the Housing Minister Bill Marmion to abandon the policy of evicting tenants for minor disturbances such as excessive noise, minor property damage or domestic disputes.
More than 120 tenants have been evicted under the so-called ‘three-strikes’ policy since its introduction in 2011.
Shelter’s executive officer Chantal Roberts says councils can resolve noise disputes, but by threatening people living in public housing with eviction, tenants are being held to an unreasonable standard.
She says many of the complaints do not justify eviction.
“What our report is asking for is those minor criteria – such as children being overly noisy – to be removed, because they don’t exist in the private sector,” she said.“People are not evicted because of noise complaints in the private sector, there are other avenues for people to complain about that.”
Ms Roberts says the hardline policy will just lead to more problems in public housing.
“The homelessness actually leads to overcrowding usually in public housing tenancies,” she said.
The Housing Minister Bill Marmion says the minor disturbances category simply defines the number of strikes required before eviction is sought through the Magistrates Court.
He says the policy is consistent with the law and will not be changed and the Government won’t apologise for defending the rights of neighbours to live in safety and comfort.