Mosman Park residents call on Housing Authority to consider evicting tenants with criminal convictions

MOSMAN Park residents say the State Housing Authority should consider making a criminal conviction a reason to evict tenants to halt crime spikes experienced this year.

“At a recent meeting, the Authority’s representative said if a tenant didn’t pay their rent it was relatively easy to evict them, but what they could do is make a conviction a reason to do the same,” Safety for Mosman Park (SfMP) spokeswoman Sasha Burnham said.

SfMP, with about 15 members, was formed after a recent crime spike linked to residents of Housing Authority flats in Wellington Street.

The spike prompted a police crackdown, including the arrest of at least two single men at the flats, and their associates, who are charged with crimes including burglary, theft and drug possession.

Ms Burnham said SfMP realised the Authority did not want to discriminate but tenants with criminal records needed controlling.

“Reclassing the flats from single men’s accommodation may be an option, but I’m open to keeping it in the same class if we can manage the real or perceived threat to residents in their streets,” she said.

SfMP wants Mosman Park council to take a role, but Mayor Ron Norris said it was for the police and the Authority to first try to solve any problem, but if there was no resolution the council could take the issue to Cottesloe MLA Colin Barnett.

Asked if criminal records would be checked and the flats’ demographic altered, Authority service delivery general manager Greg Cash said high demand for singles accommodation was unlikely to change.

The Authority followed the private rental sector’s practice of not checking criminal records.

Mr Cash said the contentious flats were managed using the State Government’s Disruptive Behaviour Management Strategy.

Despite recording a 9.2 per cent fall in the Mosman Park crime rate in the 12 months until June 30, the spike prompted police to meet with the Authority about the flats on July 29.

But police district commander Superintendent Kim Massam would not comment on the meeting’s outcome while the flats’ issues were being dealt with.