The NSW Government has introduced Residential Tenancies and Housing Legislation (Public Housing - Antisocial Behaviour) Bill 2015. This Bill makes it easier to kick people out of public housing for antisocial behaviour.
CLCNSW has serious concerns about the impact that the proposed changes would have on vulnerable social housing tenants.
Everyone has a right to feel safe in their home and having secure and affordable housing is a critical requirement for people to gain employment, access social support and to contribute to their community. It is appropriate for the law to provide mechanisms for landlords to control serious criminal and anti-social conduct in social housing. However, we believe that the law currently provides adequate powers for social housing landlords to control criminal, anti-social or fraudulent conduct by tenants or occupants in social housing. The Bill will strip away fundamental legal safeguards for all social housing tenants. This will have a disproportionate impact on vulnerable tenants – such as those who are experiencing domestic violence, those with mental health conditions, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander tenants and those who speak English as a second language – and will expose them to a real risk of homelessness.
We have written a letter to the Minister for Social Housing outlining our concerns.
A number of Community Legal Centres are concerned about this bill.
Tenant Advocates at some Community Legal Centres have prepared a briefing note about the Bill.
There is more information about the bill and concerns with it available on the Tenants' Union of NSW website.
Women’s Legal Services NSW have also written letter to the Minister for Social Housing outlining their concerns.
There has been some media coverage about this bill.
an article by Jenna Price in Daily Life
an article in the Illawarra Mercury
an earlier article in the Illawarra Mercury
a story on ABC Radio's PM program
an article in the Daily Telegraph