Publice housing - Tenant behaviour: Questions


PUBLIC HOUSING — TENANT BEHAVIOUR
1034. Hon LYNN MacLAREN to the minister representing the Minister for Housing:
(1) What does the Department of Housing do to prevent frivolous complaints from being recorded as a strike in the implementation of the disruptive behaviour management strategy?
(2) How many third strikes were issued in 2012–13?
(3) How many tenancies were terminated as a direct result of disruptive behaviour or when disruptive behaviour was present and the tenant vacated for other reasons?
(4) Of the remainder who were issued third strikes but not evicted or vacated, what prevented an eviction from proceeding?
(5) Of the tenancies in (3), how many residents did this represent?
(6) Did the evictees in (5) seek crisis accommodation or does the department know what accommodation the residents moved to?
(7) How many of the residents in (5) were provided housing support or accommodation services by the department following the termination of the tenancies or were they ineligible?
Hon KEN BASTON replied:
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. The Department of Housing advises—
(1) From 3 May 2011 to 30 November 2013, the department logged 33 446 complaints on the disruptive behaviour reporting system. This has resulted in only 3 441 strikes, demonstrating the rigour of the department’s investigation process and that the department will only take action when there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that an incident occurred. The investigation process includes consultation with independent witnesses, WA Police and further interviews with the complainant. A tenant is provided with sufficient opportunity to respond to the allegations made against them; however, the department cannot compel a tenant to respond.
(2) There were 114.
(3) There were 119 for 2012–13. Tenants can be required to vacate their property prior to the issue of three strikes depending on the severity of the behaviour.
(4) It is ultimately the magistrate who will decide whether an application to terminate a tenancy agreement will be granted and in some cases these applications will be dismissed. Dismissals can occur for various reasons including a lack of witnesses, which often occurs due to fear of retribution. The length of time to finalise legal action in the Magistrates Court can also affect the department’s case. There have been some instances in which adjournments and appeals have seen matters continue for years.
(5) The department does not record the number of household members related to tenancies terminated as a direct result of disruptive behaviour.
(6) The department may not be informed of where previous tenants choose to reside nor are previous tenants obliged to provide this information.
(7) Not applicable.