Glenys Godfrey tells Parliament residents ‘live in fear’ of anti-social Housing Authority tenants

ANTI-SOCIAL behaviour around clusters of public housing in the Belmont electorate is causing people to live in fear or move house, according to Belmont MLA Glenys Godfrey.

In one case in Rivervale, a man living next to a Housing Authority unit occupied by squatters was frequently burgled, verbally abused, assaulted and was now unable to work in his job as a carer.

Ms Godfrey said the complainant’s neighbour, the original Housing Authority tenant, moved out to live with a friend and allowed her relatives and their friends to use the property.

She said the man, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution, received injuries to his face and a broken ankle during one of the assaults from his neighbours.

The man has had his wallet, car, camera, money, alcohol, cigarettes, mobile phone and a wheelchair stolen from inside and outside his unit.

Ms Godfrey told Parliament neighbours of the Housing Authority property lived in a prison-like environment.

“The squatters and visiting friends cause disturbances by fighting each other physically and verbally day and night,” she said.

“The screaming and language is terrible. Fighting, and police attendance, has been a constant occurrence for years.

“In the common area, people are injecting themselves and leaving syringes on the ground.”

The complainant told Ms Godfrey that after his car was stolen it was found in a poor state and contained drug-related paraphernalia.

At last count, there were 546 Housing Authority properties in Rivervale – more than any other suburb in the Belmont electorate and the second highest of any suburb in wider Perth.

Ms Godfrey said the Housing Authority preferred to list percentages because it made it look like there were less Public Housing properties.

“Rivervale may not have the highest concentration of public housing in the metropolitan area, but it does have pockets of concentration higher than 50 per cent within two or three blocks,” she said.

“This is unacceptable for a modern suburb 5km from the CBD.”