Western Australia’s peak tenancy physique and the whole WA Tenancy Community of neighborhood authorized centres are urging the West Australian authorities to halt all additional “with out grounds” evictions from public housing following an injunction within the Federal Court docket final month.
Final month, the Federal Court docket of Australia granted an injunction to an Aboriginal public housing tenant to forestall the termination of his “fastened time period” public housing tenancy, primarily based on a racial discrimination grievance lodged with the Australian Human Rights Fee.
That grievance alleges that fastened time period tenancies and “with out grounds” evictions are being utilized in a discriminatory method towards Indigenous tenants of the Housing Authority (a part of the WA Division of Communities).
The AHRC grievance relies on knowledge, confirmed by the Division of Communities, which exhibits that fastened time period tenancies are used disproportionately towards Aboriginal households, who comprise 58 per cent of all fastened time period tenancies issued by the division, however make up simply 25 per cent of all public housing tenancies in WA.
“With out grounds” terminations, whether or not throughout a periodic tenancy or on the finish of a set time period lease, signifies that the tenant doesn’t have any recourse to dispute the termination or argue it isn’t justified.
Whereas the non-renewal of fastened time period agreements with none cause is pretty commonplace within the personal rental market, it typically comes as a shock to be taught that the Housing Authority, which offers housing to essentially the most weak and deprived members of our neighborhood, is ready to evict a tenant with out having to supply proof of any breach or justify the eviction in court docket.
The proposed moratorium wouldn’t stop the Housing Authority from terminating tenancies the place there are compelling causes for doing so. The place the Housing Authority has a foundation for in search of termination of a tenancy due to an alleged breach by the tenant, they’re able to current the allegations of a breach in court docket and permit a Justice of the Peace to find out if termination is justified in all of the circumstances.
Because the injunction, the Housing Authority has already enforced one other “with out grounds” eviction towards an aged Aboriginal man, who’s now homeless. That eviction got here final week regardless of a number of written requests to the Housing Authority in search of affirmation they’d not motion the eviction in mild of the Federal Court docket injunction, which obtained no response.
The night time of the eviction, he was compelled to sleep in a park in Northbridge after the locks had been modified at his residence, with all his possessions nonetheless inside. A trespass discover pinned to the door informed him he confronted a 12 months in jail if he remained on the premises following his eviction.