News State Western Australia Housing lobby group disappointed with changes to criteria for low level complaints against public housing tenants

Housing lobby group disappointed with changes to criteria for low level complaints against public housing tenants

Shelter WA says public housing tenants are held to a higher standard of conduct than other people.
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The Western Australian affordable housing lobby group Shelter WA is disappointed the State Government has rejected its call to abolish its criteria for low level complaints against public housing tenants.

Under the government’s three-strikes policy, tenants can be evicted for so-called ‘minor’ disruptive behaviours including excessive noise from appliances or children, domestic disputes and loud parties.

Shelter WA has asked the Housing Minister Bill Marmion to scrap the category of minor complaints, arguing it unfairly held public housing tenants to a higher standard of conduct than people in private rental accommodation.

But Shelter WA’s executive officer Chantal Roberts said the Minister has rejected the idea.

“The minister said that in his letter, that he would remove the word minor, only the word, not the criteria,” she said.

In its place, the lowest category of problem behaviours will now be known simply as ‘disruptive’.

Ms Roberts hopes the recently-expanded Disruptive Behaviour Management Unit inside the Department of Housing will ensure all complaints are properly tested.

“They have a lot more staff, they are able to do investigations a lot more fully,” she said.

Shelter WA said it will continue to closely monitor the impact of complaints against public housing tenants.