Crime fu­els pub­lic hous­ing evic­tions

Pilbara News - - News - Dy­lan Ca­porn

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.”

Pic­ture: Ian Munro

Hous­ing Min­is­ter Bren­don Grylls says pub­lic hous­ing is a priv­i­lege not to be abused.

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