Elderly residents living in public housing are paying a high emotional cost for their subsidised dwellings, with some pensioners takings up arms to protect themselves from their mongrel neighbours.
STATEMENT FROM A HOUSING NSW SPOKESPERSON:
Housing NSW is aware of issues of graffiti and vandalism in the area around this complex and has been working closely with Police to try and resolve any problems. Housing NSW staff visit the property on a weekly basis and Police are currently conducting a safety audit of the area.
Many of the issues relate to local youths engaging in antisocial behaviour. Housing NSW have written to the parents of the identified youths, advising them that, should be found on the property again, Police will be notified so that further action can be taken under the Enclosed Lands Act.
Housing NSW issued a Notice of Termination to one of the tenants who was attracting these youths to the complex. The termination is currently before the Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal but had to be adjourned as the tenant has since incarcerated on another matter not related to his tenancy.
A number of improvements to the property are being planned to enhance safety and security. This includes a planned two-metre high diplomat-style fence with 5 access gates around the complex. Other measures are aimed as (sic) removing and discouraging vandalism, such as the installation of metal mailboxes and graffiti removal and treatment.
These works are being treated as a matter of priority and will be undertaken over the next four months.
Work is currently underway to repair the apartments which have been damaged by fire.
STATEMENT FROM A SPOKESPERSON FOR THE HOUSING MINISITER PRU GOWARD:
"I sympathise with the residents of this block, no one should be forced to live in fear or properties which have been vandalised. Unfortunately this is the legacy we have received after 16 years of the former Labor Government, who left a maintenance backlog of over $300 million and a housing waiting list of 56,000 people.
The Minister visits many tenants across NSW and knows too well the job ahead to fix Labor's mess.
In regards to this particular case, I have asked the department to keep me updated on works which will take place. I understand that Housing NSW is working closely with Police to try and resolve the problems in this block. I have also been advised that a number of improvements to the property will take place to enhance the safety for these residents.
I will closely monitor the situation and have asked Housing NSW to give me weekly updates."