Crime fuels public housing evictions
Public houses are being used to run brothels, deal drugs and commit other crimes, resulting in a big increase in the number of people turfed out of their taxpayer-funded homes.
Housing Authority figures revealed the agency went to court to have 26 tenancies terminated last financial year, up from 16 in 2014-15.
Housing Minister Brendon Grylls said public housing was a privilege “not provided unconditionally”.
“If you abuse the privilege of a taxpayer-funded home, I want that home given to an individual or family on the waitlist who won’t abuse the privilege,” he said. “Unfortunately, a small proportion of problem tenants cause unnecessary damage and disturbance.”
Illegal activities at the properties included drug making and distribution, prostitution, storing stolen goods and firearm offences. Most of the court applications related to drug offences and stolen property.
Housing Authority service delivery general manager Greg Cash said the department must satisfy the court that the tenant caused the premises to be used for an illegal purpose.
“The Housing Authority is not responsible for determining whether illegal activity has occurred, or for prosecuting tenants for illegal activity — that is the task of the police and subsequently the court process,” he said.
“The authority will seek to terminate if a householder or visitor is convicted of an offence that amounts to illegal use of premises and the tenant is required to prove they did not permit or cause the illegal activity.”
Housing Minister Brendon Grylls says public housing is a privilege not to be abused.