Monday, February 7, 2011

The ultimate LIMP FISH response.

"... creating harmonious communities..."

Sounds nice, doesn't it.

Should be fairly easy to achieve. Putting like minded people together creates harmony - strengthens a community.

It's the concept behind the Over 55's units. It’s the strategy used with various ethnic groups: language, customs, support and culture… tenants are much happier where they feel they “belong”.

The opposite is the recipe for disaster. For example, allocating a unit to a transgender lady in a block where a known violent homophobe resides would just be asking for trouble. Putting a young, uneducated mother with a brood of unruly children in the middle of an elderly estate would be inviting failure.

So asking HNSW to uphold their own policy and allocate to "create a harmonious community" should elicit a positive response and beneficial outcome for all.

I have personally witnessed two occasions where HNSW have “hand-picked” tenants to ensure that harmony is maintained. It was so successful that the Minister used it in a press release as an example of “good design” in tenant allocation, and  “creating prosperous communities”.

So when I read this on the Housing NSW website, I had hope for the future:

Our purpose:
Helping build a stronger community

  • We make a difference
We are committed to making a sustainable difference to social outcomes.  …
  • We help
…  We try to understand and respond compassionately to our client’s circumstances. …
  • We work together
We are committed to treating everyone with respect …  We work towards finding practical and affordable solutions.
  • We are part of the community
We are committed to serving and strengthening the community. …

I wonder how long it took for some committee or other to dream up those words. Perhaps every Housing staff member should be required to recite them every morning before beginning work. Maybe it would help if the Team Leaders had it tattooed across their foreheads.

Frankly, in 14 years as a tenant, I have not felt the “respect” or “compassion” owed to me. The exception of one decent CSO or perhaps an anonymous voice on the Maintenance hotline; but in general being treated as “just a houso” has become the norm.

It was not surprising then, when I received a letter this morning (after 2 reminders and a 5 week delay) that it was littered with phrases like:
the team has taken appropriate action necessary to resolve the matter. [NO they haven’t]
matters are dealt with in an appropriate manner when they occur. [NO they’re not!]
Housing NSW has procedures [and they pick and choose which ones to follow in any given circumstance]
Due to privacy legislation, Housing NSW is unable to provide any further information [this one is trotted out whenever they don’t want to reveal information – whether is it actually covered by privacy legislation or not]
Allocation of a property is offered to the next suitable applicant [ooo we love this word “suitable”] on the housing register that meets the eligibility criteria for Housing and also addresses their housing needs. [What about the NEEDS of existing tenants – and now we are full circle back to “creating harmonious communities”.]

This beige little letter is just one of thousands of beige little letters produced by HNSW every day. Fobbing us off with their LIMP FISH, politically correct, committee created form letters.
And the beauty is – they get PAID to do this!

And my favourite from their website: We work as a team, while remembering that we are individually accountable.

I would love just one person to be individually accountable for finding a solution to my problem and stop fobbing me off with limp, irrelevant replies.


  1. cultural needs are definitely NOT on HNSW agenda nor are family. I am in line for a transfer(when is anyone's guess) and part of my application stated that cultural issues are to be taken into acocunt, and being close to my family is also a necessity as my daughters help care for me. HNSW's response was that culture and family do not come into this, medical issues do. My daughters help keep the cost of care down, they make it easier for the govt. in my culture family is always close.

    HNSW does not care about the NEEDS of the tenant.

    I suggest that everyone who reads these blogs send e-mails to the minister for housing and if tehre is no response contact the shadow minister.

  2. Work as a team, treat people with respect,resolve problems and make repairs that's a laugh you are made to feel as if you are causing problems just by asking for your rights and/or repairs. It's no wonder we give up asking. I think the whole department needs a complete shake up, I'm not saying that they are all bad but the good are few and far between.
    I know of 1 person who has been waiting for repairs to be completed for almost 3 years
    its just not good enough. Also has anyone else noticed that if you work and pay a higher rent that your concerns are sorted sooner rather than later.

  3. My neighbour was one of the anti-social ferals - but instead of evicting her, they rewarded her with a new house. Housing then paid for her removalists. She left the back yard in a disgusting tip with months of rubbish piled up breeding cockroaches - but it was HOUSING that paid for it to be cleaned up!!!

    No wonder there is no money left to fix my plumbing!

  4. i had workmen come to my house to replace a hot water system...when they emptied the water from the old one, they got it in my dryer...well the dryer is now deceased and of coursse the workmen have denied any responsibility...i have emailed housing about 4 times and called the maintenance line about it 3 times...i got a letter saying that somebody would contact me in something like 10 working days-THAT WAS ABOUT 2 MONTHS AGO?? im a single mum who shouldnt have to go and replace my dryer because some dishonest workmen think they can get away with treating us tenants like we are nothing.
    am so annoyed.

  5. Hi last week i asked DoH if they could answer this simple question, We are in a duplex there is one residence at the front and one at the rear i would like to know if we are jointly responsible for mowing of nature strip and driveway my neighbor would like it clarified(i think its obvious we share the load however she doesn't) . The reply i got was it depends on the setup of the duplex,could i be clearer ok there are TWO units on the one block with nature strip out front and lawn area on driveway, again the reply was it depends on the setup. I guess if you ask a silly question you get a silly answer.

  6. treat them like they treat u speak to them if you ever see them like servants because that is all they are they will not change till everyone treats them like that smelly stuff on the ground


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