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Crackdown on tenants welcomed by public housing provider

Thursday, 26th February, 2015

By Michael Murphy

A State Government promise to crackdown on the bad behaviour of public housing tenants has been welcomed by the company with the contract to provide public housing in Broken Hill.

Earlier this week Premier Mike Baird announced a raft of measures he would introduce if voters re-elected the government next month.

They included:

* A ONE strike policy for those who seriously breach their tenancy agreement (for example, drug crimes).

* A THREE strikes policy if a tenant has breached their tenancy agreement three times over 12 months.

* TWELVE-month probationary leases for public housing tenancies of more than two years.

* CONFIDENTIAL neighbour impact statements so the Tribunal has to take account of the impact of bad behaviour.

* ENSURE that tenants who do not pay rent are evicted.

“Public housing is a privilege, not a right. We will have no tolerance for people who don’t play by the rules and who make other people’s lives a misery,” Mr Baird said in a statement.

“I am sick and tired of a small criminal element terrorising their neighbours and selling drugs in public housing.”

Compass Housing manages all social housing properties in Broken Hill, and it yesterday welcomed the announcement by the government.

“The vast majority of our tenants are very good but sometimes a very small element don’t do the right thing,” said Greg Budworth, Compass Housing’s group managing director.

“Compass staff already take active steps to manage anti-social behaviour issues, including possible loss of tenancy for criminal activity within our social housing properties.

“While we are tough on anti social behaviour that impacts other tenants and the community, we also focus on helping our tenants to improve their ability to participate in the community economically and socially.”

He said anti-social behaviour required an “all of community solution” and that was why Compass was proposing to set up a “community hub” in Creedon Street.

A development application for the hub was deferred by City Council at last night’s monthly meeting.

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