Greens NSW Housing spokesperson Jenny Leong MP has called the Residential Tenancies Act (Social Housing) Bill introduced by NSW Social Housing Minister Goward today as nothing short of blame shifting.
“This bill is nothing more than an attempt by the Minister to shift the responsibility for the decade long waiting lists and maintenance failures on to the tenants of public and social housing – when really it is her and the Liberals that are failing people.
“Claims that this punitive bill will promote behavioural change from tenants are clearly misguided when it is often underlying mental health and drug and alcohol issues which are the cause of problems - the real behavioural change needed is from the Minister and her Department who are clearly failing in their obligations when it comes to providing support, essential maintenance and housing to those on the waiting list.
“The concept of a Risk Based Bond Scheme – with guidelines to be determined by Ministerial approval and with no parliamentary oversight – is a recipe for further targeting and marginalising of vulnerable people in our community who are living in public housing.
“Presenting this Bill as a solution to the decade long public housing waiting list is nonsensical. People in need of a place to call home will be stuck in a circular loop of housing insecurity where they will be kicked out of public housing, become homeless, approached by Housings specialist homelessness teams when they are sleeping rough and placed back on the waiting list with priority status.
“The Minister is creating a cruel game of musical chairs that will increase housing insecurity and financial stress for those most in need.”