A GROUP of elderly residents in a social housing block in Jubilee Avenue in Orange say their neighbours’ anti-social behaviour is “frustrating and bloody stressful” for other occupants of the complex.
Three residents in the block of nine Housing Plus apartments told the Central Western Daily (CWD) the occupants of one of the apartments regularly threw items over their balcony into other people’s gardens, allowed their visitors to occupy several car spots and engaged in a range of anti-social behaviour, including arguing in public and slamming doors.
The residents claim the problematic neighbours have multiple people residing at the apartment, however Housing Plus told the CWD the tenant on the lease was a single person.
Resident Arthur Kinchela wants Housing Plus to address the problem that’s impacting the lives of at least nine other residents who have all signed a petition calling for an investigation.
Mr Kinchela contacted the CWD after he became concerned Housing Plus wouldn’t intervene on his behalf despite complaining over the telephone and in writing.
“I made three complaints by phone to Housing Plus but they say they have no record,” he said.
“I think Housing Plus just needs to educate these people to make life easier for all of us.”
Mr Kinchela said on January 4 he received a letter from Housing Plus stating that after an initial assessment of the situation, no further action was planned.
He said most of the residents in the block were elderly and many had health issues, so the stress of the ongoing tension was impacting on all of them.
“We’re supposed to have privacy, peace and quiet, but they’re doing wheelies and banging on doors,” he said.
“It’s uncomfortable, frustrating and bloody stressful.
“People are getting parked in, I don’t know what would happen if an ambulance wanted to get in.”
Resident Pat Alderton said his neighbours’ behaviour was unacceptable.
“It’s hard to explain, it just shouldn’t happen, it’s upsetting,” Mr Alderton said.
“This is how places become ghettos if it’s not stopped.”
Mr Alderton said despite his unhappiness he was “too old to move” elsewhere.
Resident David Seott said he too was unhappy “with all the crap that’s going on around here” and wanted Housing Plus to take action.
Mr Kinchela said he wouldn’t rest until the issue was resolved and he’d contacted the Department of Fair Trading, the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care and other agancies to try and resolve the situation.
House is in order
HOUSING Plus chief executive officer Karen Andrew says she’s satisfied the problems at 1-5 Jubilee Avenue are being handled appropriately by her staff in accordance with Housing Plus polices and the Residential Tenancies Act.
Ms Andrew said Housing Plus had a record of having received one phone call and a letter regarding the anti-social behaviour of residents at the block and had investigated the complaints within an acceptable time frame.
“We have a comprehensive complaints policy that allows for 21 days to acknowledge, investigate and resolve complaints,” Ms Andrew said.
She said complaints outlined in the letter, including cigarettes being thrown into neighbours’ yards, had been investigated but it was difficult to take action unless there was proof.
She said Housing Plus had already met with the subject of the complaints and had sent letters to all parties who signed the petition acknowledging the complaints and providing a copy of Housing Plus’s complaints and appeals brochure so they would be aware of the organisation’s investigative procedures.
“[The letter states] that we have reviewed our complaints management system and there are no previous recorded concerns that warranted further investigation regarding the client,” Ms Andrew said.
“The letter also stated that we take this seriously and we will deal with the issues raised in the letter in accordance with Housing Plus policies and procedures.”
Ms Andrew said since meeting with the subject of the complaints “staff have had further discussions with residents and no further concerns have been raised”.
“This complaint is still open and is being investigated in accordance with our policies and the Residential Tenancies Act,” she said.
“Further details on the investigation are confidential to respect the privacy of the client.”