Anti-social behaviour – news and analysis

Reflections of a Blue Mountains Tenant Advocate

Jo Hibbert
Jo Hibbert, Tenant Advocate
Jo Hibbert has been a Tenant Advocate at the Blue Mountains Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy Service for seven years. Now she’s retiring for a well-earned break, so we took the opportunity to ask her for some reflections about her time in the world of tenancy. She talks about some of her experiences at the Tribunal, and the way the workload for Advocates has increased, but the funding hasn't. She also tells the story of a tenant who she defended from eviction six times!
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Five key changes to social housing laws

In October 2015, NSW Parliament passed the highly contentious Residential Tenancies and Housing Legislation Amendment (Public Housing - Antisocial Behaviour) Act - affecting the rights and obligations of all social housing tenants in NSW, and restricting the capacity of the Tribunal to consider the evidence before it. Strictly speaking, these changes have applied since enactment. But FACS Housing will begin actively using the new rules against public housing tenants from today, having published a new operational policy to guide its decision making in this regard. Community housing providers are expected to do the same in the near future. 
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Putting down roots

Alison's garden
Alison's garden
In this piece, boarding house resident Alison Jolly tells her story: "The housing situation for older single women like me (I’m 61) can be difficult unless they own their own home. Many of us divorced our husbands after years of domesticity which had left us unskilled for the work force, without superannuation, and often with an extreme lack of confidence. I think women also like to potter and enjoy homey things like baking etc. so housing is important to them. We also miss out (as do grandfathers) on having our grandchildren visit if our housing is dangerous and unclean."
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When home isn't safe: Queer women and housing

Indigo
Indigo Dunphy, share house tenant
Indigo Dunphy is a 20 year old queer person who, at the time of interviewing, was living in a share house with another queer woman and two straight men. She has a girlfriend who stayed over regularly. She talks about the difficulties of finding a safe and respectful share house to live in.
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At least I have a room

Gretta
Gretta, boarding house resident
This is a story about Gretta, a boarding house resident. She has lived in two boarding houses. The first she liked very much as it included a communal living area as well as shared facilities. About two years ago the building was sold and she had to move out. With the help of staff at Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, Gretta was able to find cheaper accommodation but the current boarding house doesn’t have any living room space or anywhere outdoors to go.
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