Further to our story last year about the WA policy of evictions...
This story appeared in the The West online newspaper
The Department of Housing has almost doubled the number of evictions of public housing tenants under its three-strikes policy in the past 13 months.
An explosion at a clandestine drug laboratory in a suburban home in March prompted Housing Minister Troy Buswell to harden the rules.
Department statistics released to _The West Australian _ show there were 55 evictions from public housing because of disruptive behaviour between January 1 last year and January 31 this year.
This compared with 31 evictions for bad behaviour in the preceding 14 months.
Housing Department general manager of service delivery Steve Parry said under the strengthened disruptive behaviour management strategy, 925 first strikes, 338 second strikes and 114 third strikes had been issued in the same period. Tenants can be evicted after three strikes but it is not automatic.
In that time 55 tenancies were terminated, compared with 31 evictions for disruptive behaviour from November 2009 to the end of 2010.
"The department considers the substantial drop in the number of strikes issued between first and subsequent strikes to be evidence of the strategy's effectiveness," Mr Parry said.
Just eight evictions had been ordered under the policy in the eight months to March last year when Mr Buswell ordered a review of the eviction policy.
The review was ordered after it emerged the department had ignored several complaints about antisocial behaviour at a Carlisle public housing residence where a drug laboratory exploded.
Under the new rules, the period for accumulation of three strikes was extended from six months to 12 months. Offensive behaviour was also put into three categories, the worst of which could lead to immediate eviction without warning.
But WA Council of Social Service chief executive Irina Cattalini said yesterday it was concerned that the hardened rules penalised tenants trying to deal with problems such as mental illness or drug and alcohol abuse.
Alana Buckley-Carr, The West Australian February 27, 2012, 5:07 am