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.

It's all well and good coming along to listen to the views of tenants - but if you have no desire to actually assist in making things better then you have wasted your time and ours. Even the Minister for Housing has got the decency not to bother.
It seems to me that you are just keeping the seat warm until March.

Your attitude also filters through to every aspect of the Housing NSW Team - or is it the other way around?
We hear the empty rhetoric all day from HNSW - why things won't be fixed... why things won't change... what do you expect, you are "just" public housing tenants.

I loved the way you wrapped it up in a pretty bow - "housing of last resort" and "HNSW are landlords, not social workers".
Well, I'd better tell you that HNSW staff are acting EXACTLY like social workers. They pick and choose who is to be allocated housing; they make judgements about who to listen to and whose complaints to take seriously; they influence tenants lives with their decisions; they create unbearable conditions by their laziness and inaction; they ignore rules and policy when it suits them.

Your "housing of last resort" label is only a small percentage of tenants - but now you paint us all with the same brush. You treat us all as if we are going to be anti-social monsters, wreck our houses and deal drugs from our premises.

You have the ability to create a strong, working community - to enable us to shake off the labels inflicted upon us by government, media and Housing staff. You have policies in place that will instantly improve tenants lives - but no backbone to uphold them. You don't need to reinvent the wheel - or create more red-tape to entangle tenants - you just need to enforce the policies you already have. You can pass the buck all you like to the CTTT but ignoring the problems will only escalate your demise.


  1. well spoke. i agree on 100% with a speaker.

  2. A very concise and factual letter. I have been a tenant for around 34 years and during this time I have experienced and listened to the flexibility and rigidness of the DOH's policies used by the hierarchy within. The swing I have observed has been to change the so called State's White Elephant into making money hence the lack of maintenance to properties, the attitude of CSO's applying rigid policy with no desire to understand individual circumstances. They forget that the position they hold with the DOH is to be of assistance to tenants, if there were no tenants there would be no well paid jobs for them. One experience I had with a senior member of Housing contacted me regarding a transfer and was resistant and difficult to communicate with to the point of my stating I would contact my local member and the response I received was this local member will do what I want him to do. It just makes one really wonder how they get away with their demeaning attitude. On a positive note I have also met some very efficient and helpful CSO's but always of short duration, I have no idea whether they leave or put out the back somewhere away from tenants! I have mostly voted labour over the years but I won't be voting for them this coming March, they are doing an abysmal job all round....

  3. A very well worded letter to Ms Keneally, wish you were a politician, and for that matter, in politics on our behalf.

  4. Your letter to Keneally is very well put togethor...what I would like to put to parliament is this: Why is it that every disgruntled public tenant, which appears to be the group which wants to raise the standard and live cleanly and safely, is battling to be heard by public housing offices and not being heard or helped? Why is the lowest standard being kept, causing hatred and unease amongst private home owners and the general public and helping to continue the stigma and abuse of rights of clean living tenants? The present situation is not beneficial to anyone, including those who are not socialised sufficiently to live like anything than low lifes: Is there a faction that is benefiting from this approach and its outcome? With all the power within the government, there must be a reason for continuing this situation, instead of improving it? Can you please tell us why it is so?

  5. Well I have long suspected that if you keep the people poor and dependant then you have the voters ,wage slaves and scapegoats with which to use at each election. They like to keep us in the rat race away from the real issues ie: people are easier to control this way .

  6. I'm not in NSW, but I am a tenant, and I agree 100% with what you said. I think the bureaucracy, on all levels, is so tied up in red tape they can't help themselves let alone anyone else. Thanks for being the mouthpiece of Department of Housing tenants, you are doing a great job.

  7. I believe we need to organize a tenants action group,to become a united voice,its only when ppl organize do govts take notice,as tenants we are the many and they are the few,If DOH dont want to be welfare workers stop policy on doing deals with the rehabs,and house ppl from the housing list.
    Im interested in hearing if ppl are interested in starting an action group,be the change u want to see.

  8. I am beginning to see that there are people out there that believe that if we work togethor we might have a REAL VOICE OF OUR OWN! Not what the media tells people about us or that waste of money quarterly public housing ltr we get(recipes anyone?!), or anything else. I DO believe that we need to get togethor and organize ourselves as a great big group, and show that we are not "brainless housos" as we are portrayed, and, work towards a voice in the media and parliament. It will take time but time well spent.

  9. i think its a fantastic idea to start a tenents action group there are plenty of people that are fed up with the system that we are not being heard..Bring it on i sure will be helping to have our voices heard as im sure many others would.

  10. well said hit the nail right on the head im a qld tenant in housing and it seems they put us in a place then left to rot especially the good ones no matter how many times you address an issue they always flog the problem onto someone else and so on so you get so mentally drained you give up but DON'T let them know keep on their back every day if you have to let us tenants join together

  11. The only way (unfortunately) for any politicians to understand what we in "houso" go through is if they actually live in one.
    I dont like the chances of that happening.

    Yes the Newsletter we get is a total waste of time and money.

    Try getting a security door lock fixed - NO - thats not a priority. I think my families safety is a priority.

  12. The story about a tenant successfully suing the department is always nice to see sitting there as inspiration. Please leave it up there. It is extremely challenging to be positive when you and I live in the system that we do.... A successful salesman once said: "'NO' IS WHAT YOU HEAR ON THE WAY TO HEARING 'YES'!" Recently I had the most depressing long term battle to get a tenant to clean about a year of dog faeces from the back courtyard adjoining mine, it became my lifes work (thinking of dog faeces all of the time right up to the fence next to my clothes line, 2 metres away from my kitchen), the tenant abused me, the council sent a letter to the department as the owner, but, local councils cannot make the department do anything, finally......they cleaned it and the dept. followed through........ To build a trojan horse we need to be united (individually we just exhaust ourselves) and make public awareness of what really is going on, a priority...what finally worked for me was telling all the other neighbours who can't see and are not near this neighbour, how filthy it was and it got back to them.

  13. We live in QLD and its the same here. We have a problem neighbour. We have approached them nicely to sort out the problems and all we got was verbal abuse and threats of physical violence from both the tenants and the boyfriends. So we followed the advice given by DoH kept a diary,sent in a written complaint still nothing has been done.It seems if you live by the rules you get shafted. An action group sounds like a great idea count me in.

  14. I agree with every single word you have said!
    I totally agree with how Housing NSW pick and choose how to treat people. They prey on the vulnerable and i have seen it first hand myself! They take advantage of the weak and ruin lives. I don't want to give away too much about my own situation as i could be evicted if any one of those scum heartless monsters at Housing NSW reads these posts. And im sure there would be a few of them who surf the internet each day, after all they hardly seem to work at the RYDE OFFICE. I see them all the time lighting up ciggarettes out the front and spending the day browsing the internet and who knows what other behaviour they get up to. Take it from me if anyone is reading this. DON'T LET THEM TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOU! We all have rights and just because they are who they well let me tell you HOUSING NSW IS NOTHING! Take them to the CTTT if you have documents that can prove that you can get them in trouble. Don't let them get away with anything! It's good to see a blog like this to let other vulnerable people who have been taken advantage by some of these heartless monsters alot of them are losers thats why they work in such a dump!!


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