Residents' relief after 'criminal' housing tenants booted
RESIDENTS in Buddina and Currimundi have reclaimed their streets after years of dealing with housing commission tenants raising hell.
Despite constant calling, monitoring the tenants' every movement and countless police call-outs, it's taken years for the Department of Housing to act.
After a campaign led by Kawana MP Jarrod Bleijie and articles in the Daily, it's understood the unruly tenants were handed eviction notices this week.
But the frustrated residents were left asking why it took so long.
Having neighboured the Currimundi block for so long, Greg Hindmarsh says it's a huge weight off his mind.
"It's a massive relief really, and very frustrating that it's taken nearly two years of constant collecting information and police intervention,” Mr Hindmarsh said.
"Hopefully we can go back to normality now, not question anyone walking down our street.
"I understand their is an eviction process, but clearly something was amiss.
"For us it's been mentally taxing. They're taking the system for granted.”
One Buddina resident, who asked to not be named for fear of retribution, said the past two years have been "ridiculous”.
"Provided they don't roll the dice and put another bad egg in it will be awesome,” the resident said.
"Hopefully it's given them a shake-up, the department needs to be held accountable. It's not acceptable.”
Mr Bleijie said police visited one unit almost 50 times last year and shut down a meth lab.
"For heaven's sake, even though a drug lab was discovered and the unit was decontaminated, the same tenant walked straight back in,” Mr Bleijie said.
"Whilst one tenant was serving a significant prison sentence, his public housing unit sat vacant.
"Meanwhile, vulnerable families who were desperate for a roof over their heads remained homeless.
"Tenants that disrupt the lives of others and engage in criminal activity should be immediately evicted and lose their privilege of taxpayer funded public housing permanently.”
Mr Bleijie again called for the Palaszczuk Government to adopt the LNP's three strikes policy for unlawful tenants.
The department of housing did not respond to questions raised to why it's taken this long to evict the tenants saying it cannot discuss individual circumstances of its tenants.
"Everyone has the right to enjoy reasonable peace, comfort and privacy in their home,” a department spokesman said.
"And while most social housing tenants do the right thing, sometimes people do disrupt the peace in their neighbourhood.
"The department is committed to resolving difficult situations as early as possible, and with sensitivity to people differing needs.
"Our policy balances the rights of tenants, neighbours, service partners, departmental staff and the community. Bad behaviour will not be tolerated.”