Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Good tenants forced to vacate for Christmas

Good tenants are being forced to leave their homes this Christmas and move into anonymous motels because Housing NSW won’t act to control bad neighbours.

Mrs T left her unit this morning and is now living in a cheap motel. “I couldn’t afford to stay in a motel in my own neighbourhood with my friends” said Mrs T, “It’s going to be a very lonely Christmas for me”.

Mrs T’s neighbours have a long history of anti-social behaviour but their violence has increased since school holidays started.

Monday, October 25, 2010

All talk - No action. Kristina Keneally comes to Waterloo

Last Friday I attended yet another Housing Forum - where the same old people trotted out the same old rhetoric.
The only difference was the Premier of NSW regurgitated it and spat it in our faces.

Here is my response to her:

Dear Ms Keneally,

I was disappointed but not surprised by your "housing forum" display in Waterloo last Friday.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Catch 22. Dealing with Anti-Social Behaviour.

For those who haven’t read Joseph Heller’s fine book, Catch 22 is a situation whereby no matter what you do, you can’t win.

For example:
One cannot get a job in a high-profile occupation without prior experience, but they cannot get experience without getting a job in a high-profile area.

Another example that Housing NSW use to full effect:
It takes longer than 30 days for staff to action an incident report.
Any incident reports over 30 days old are not current enough to use.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Tenant SUES Housing NSW

Residential Tenancies Act 2010 - Sect 50
(3) A landlord or landlord's agent must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the landlord's other neighbouring tenants do not interfere with the reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of the tenant in using the residential premises.

A tenant has lodged an application with the NSW Consumer, Trader & Tenancy Tribunal asking for the refund of rent since Oct 08 worth over $7000 because, they claim, Housing NSW have failed to address a noisy neighbour problem for nearly two years.

This is not a case to determine whether the neighbour is or isn't excessively noisy - it is a case about the failure of Housing to implement their own policies and promptly address issues raised by tenants.

Interstate Swaps

All the Housing departments in Australia are run by each State Government - and none of them allow Interstate swaps. This includes ACT to NSW and across borders like Tweed Heads to Coolangatta.

To me, this policy seems ridiculous - each property would have a rent paying tenant, so why would DoH care where the tenant originated from?

Is there a NEED for Interstate Swaps?

Mutual Exchange and Transfers

I would like to hear your experiences of the Mutual Exchange program.
How did you find a swap; how long did you wait; how many properties were you offered by DoH; were they suitable properties; did you swap or were you transfered etc

Start with which state you are from.
I DO NOT want to hear details about WHY you wanted to swap - personal stories of family situations are not relevant.
What is relevant is how you were treated by Housing staff, how the system did or did not work for you.

Positive stories are just as welcome as negative stories.


Our House Swap has been running now for about 10 years. It is run by a tenant and has no official standing with any of the 8 Depts of Housing. We have facilitated contact between thousands of tenants and have had hundreds of successful swaps. The OHS website works way better than the official DoH run Mutual Exchange Program or Transfer system because the tenants have control.

To me - living in public housing is a PRIVILEGE not a RIGHT - but so many tenants spoil it for the good ones by trashing their properties and not valuing their communities. These are also the people most vocal about how bad Housing workers are - when actually, they contribute nothing to improving their lot in life.

I had considered attaching a blog before, but feared it would turn into one big whingefest. However, several things have happened in the past few months which have prompted me to set up this blog - with the main purpose being to gather information from other tenants about issues which affect them. Real issues - not whinges about a tap not being fixed or a dog barking - I want to collate real information that I can feed back to the "Powers That Be", so that they can get a true understanding of the issues tenants face.

This is not about me - so don't expect lots of blog posts - this is about YOU and your contributions as tenants.

Now, having said that, I don't have a huge amount of time to read and process all the info floating around in the ether - and I have very little tolerance for personal gripes or "victims" - so if there is someone else out there who would like to pitch in and help improve the standards of how Housing workers treat tenants - then please email me.

OHS Admin

One last thing - I am a DoH tenant and I value my privacy - so you will understand why I don't reveal my real contact details.