Evicted family pitches tent at parliament

A mother and her children are protesting outside parliament about being denied public housing, but admits they weren't model tenants.

A woman and her six children have pitched a tent across from the West Australian parliament to protest being denied public housing.

Robin Stratton said the family was forced to move out of their Wilson public housing property in November - and stay in tents in various friends' backyards - after their tenancy agreement came to an end.

"The Department of Housing simply didn't want to renew my tenancy after 30-odd years of being in a tenancy," she told Fairfax radio on Wednesday.

"They just didn't give no reason. I know that I haven't been a model tenant. I've had my ups and downs.

"I was working with that. I was under the understanding we were doing alright. We were on a Strong Families program.

"I just don't know where we went wrong."

She did concede there was rubbish in the backyard, but attributed holes in doors to others who broke in after they vacated.

Department of Housing spokesman Steve Parry said the family was put on a fixed-term tenancy after they had problems - rent arrears, property standards, overcrowding and disruptive behaviour - at 10 Homeswest houses over 25 years.

He said the effective eviction from the Wilson property, where the family had incurred a $52,000 tenant liability on top of outstanding debt of $27,000, was "absolutely" justified.

Mr Parry also said 19 neighbours had lodged 47 complaints.

The department didn't want to make children homeless but neighbours deserved peace and quiet, he said.

"We worked really hard with this family to keep them in a house," he said.

"We only ask tenants to abide by three rules: look after the house, get on with the neighbours and pay your rent.

"We considered the decision to evict very seriously.

"Enough is enough."

Mrs Stratton said she would try to stay in the tent opposite parliament for as long as possible, but had already been asked to leave the Crown land.

"I want to be able to stick this out so I can make a statement. It's just not right."

2 min read
Published 19 February 2014 at 3:22pm
Source: AAP