(English) June 5, 2012
The State Government’s ‘three strikes’ housing policy has led to almost one eviction a day from Homeswest properties.
The three strikes policy for Homeswest tenants came into effect a year ago in response to public outcry over the explosion of a clandestine drug lab in public housing.
Figures now show since the tougher policy was put in place, about 28 tenants have been evicted each month.
The Department of Housing’s Steve Altham has told the ABC there are a range of reasons tenants have been evicted.
«They’re not all as a result of disruptive behaviour,» he said.
«There’s a range of other things; there are people who would be substantially behind on their rent, there could be a range of reasons why people are behind on their rent.»
Mr Altham says the policy is not intended to withdraw services from those who need them.
«There’s a lot of people who have got a first strike who have got a message,» he said.
«And, the reality is that we want people to be able to stay successfully in tenancies, we want them to be able to behave in a way that allows them to get on with their neighbours.»
The WA Council of Social Service’s Irina Cattalini says the policy is pushing families into homelessness.
«We’re certainly hearing from our members who provide services for families in the community struggling with these issues,» she said.
«They are seeing some really extreme stories of families in the crisis situation of literally having nowhere to go, living in their cars or moving from home to home of their family and friends.»
Ms Cattalini says it is also putting a strain on homelessness services.
«Some of the crisis accommodation providers aren’t able to provide any assistance in terms of putting a roof over their heads,» she said.
«They might be able to help them make some phone calls, they might be able to provide them with some temporary support or financial assistance if there are other things that they need.»