In public housing, most behave well

Photo: Shutterstock.
Photo: Shutterstock.

Last week, the state government made changes to the way it manages antisocial behaviour in our public housing system.

The SA Housing Authority has introduced a new policy which makes it clear what antisocial behaviours are unacceptable from tenants.

Under the new policy, tenants who engage in serious and ongoing antisocial behaviour will get fewer warnings and face eviction if they do not improve their behaviour.

The authority will focus on serious complaints and re-direct or refer minor complaints through appropriate channels, including local councils.

Serious antisocial behaviour is unacceptable and includes things like cultivating prohibited drugs, assaulting neighbours and damaging a property leaving it uninhabitable.

South Australians have the right to live peacefully at home, without being subjected to antisocial behaviour by their neighbours.

We know there are many people who could benefit from secure public housing, yet a small minority abuse the privilege of being a public housing tenant.

We also recognise that there are some tenants with circumstances in their lives that are extremely challenging, such as DV, substance abuse and mental illness.

Where appropriate, staff can arrange support services and early intervention to help people take the steps they need to maintain their tenancy.

I'd like to take the opportunity to say thank you to the majority of public housing tenants who are respectful, pay their rent and maintain their property.

Michelle Lensink is South Australia's Minister for Human Services.