Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Revealing preliminary results from tenant survey

MORE than 72 per cent of public tenants currently affected by anti- social behaviour have not had their problem resolved or addressed appropriately by State housing departments, according to the OHSBlog survey.

A massive 65 per cent found Housing staff to be "unhelpful and disinterested", and most had been putting up with noisy neighbours for more than two years.

Anti-social behaviour, maintenance and mutual exchange are three of the bigger issues affecting tenants in public housing across Australia. As each sector of Housing is run by the State government, tenants in each state experience a different level of ineptitude from their "landlord".

The OHSBlog tenant survey has covered all three topics as well as interstate transfers and empty properties. More than 50 per cent of tenants reported that there was a vacant property in their street/ building that had been empty for more than two months, and this while the waiting list grows longer and the homeless face winter on the streets.

Any tenant in Housing can tell you that the system is broken, but just how broken depends on who you talk to. Official glossy brochures are posted out on a regular basis telling tenants how wonderful life is. Meanwhile their roof is leaking, their carpet is rotting and the neighbours are making life hell.

OHSBlog has designed the survey to try to gauge the extent of the problems experienced by tenants - and perhaps allow all parties to see the BIG picture and tackle the issues at the core instead of the Band-Aid approach that currently exists.

The survey reveals that 50 per cent of tenants don't know their rights and don't know how to make their landlord accountable. The time has come to educate them and empower them to improve their lives.

The survey will run for another two months and all tenants currently living in public housing are encouraged to fill it in and have their voice heard.

Quick Facts so far:

  • 43% have requested a transfer to move away from noise or anti-social environment
  • 61% have waited over a year for their transfer to be processed
  • 54% have had to make between 2 and 20 reports to Housing to have their anti-social behaviour problems looked at.
  • 35% of tenants have between 2 and 5 outstanding maintenance issues
  • 70% have been waiting over a year for maintenance issues to be addressed and need to make more than 5 reports before a response is forthcoming
  • An overwhelming 93% would like the 8 State Housing departments to allow interstate transfers.


  1. Department of Housing needs to put on more staff so they can help people quicker with any problems they may have, I live alone in a big 3 brm home, am over 55, and would like to move into something smaller so a family can have my home, however, they have told me it could take up to 2 years for this to happen??

  2. I am an elderly women living on my own in an area were there are drug addicts and feral children and anti social behaviour and get abused by drug addicts and kids a lot when I go and ask them to please get out of my yard, and I have asked to be transferred to somewhere quiter and have been told that it could take 2 to 3 yrs to move me, I have rang police, I have complained and still nothing is being done.

  3. The survey results are clear and sadly 50% of tenants don't know their rights, the other 50% is probably genuinely ill or otherwise less than strong and fighting. I live in a massive 3 brm townhouse, am ill and old and on a transfer list. Because HNSW has decided I have never settled so I must be antisocial (in not one but 2 places I feared for my life because of antisocial behaviour) they have decided to only offer me a stand alone house. This for an aging and exhausted woman. There are so called tenant resource services, but, like the glossy magazine that tells us life is so great, no substantial help comes from these.

  4. Something else that is important about anti-social behavour: Too many tenants still don't know about this website, unfortunately. Recently I approached HNSW to say there is a swap letter generated by the HNSW system, out there, with my details on it, which other tenants receive but I never ever do. I asked one prospective swapper to photocopy the one she used to phoned me from, and she did. This I took to my local office saying: I have no way of knowing who is coming to my door if there is nothing to check with! So, please, try this safety concern with your housing office, when next you are frustrated by the mess that is the public housing generated swap service - we don't know what we are getting or where from, when they come to our door, and it is a safety issue leaving us totally vulnerable.

  5. This is quite disturbing - and certainly a breach of privacy. Could you please contact me on as I would be very keen to see a copy of the letter and take this matter higher.

    Thanks, Admin

  6. I would NEVER put my name down for a DOH swap. I use this website and the newspaper. I am single and over 50 so I swapped my very big three bedroom home for a lovely 2 bedroom by answering an add in my local paper. We had to fight the local office but we knew our rights and they eventually gave in. Go the old fashioned way and put an add in the local paper of where you want to go to. Meg.

  7. Don't the D.O.H have to approve the swap even if you get it on this site.I'm trying to swap a 3 bedroom (mine) for a 2 bedroom and the D.O.H won't allow it.

  8. P.S Sorry,just how did you fight your local office,I've got absolutely nowhere with mine.


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