Public housing obligations

Maintaining your independence and staying in your own home is important for so many older Australians but, what if like YOURLifeChoices subscriber Penelope the state of your home leaves a lot to be desired?

Q. Penelope
I am 58, on an invalid pension and live in a Dept of Housing duplex. I have been here for just over 7 years and there has been a severe smell of mould which has became unbearable, to the point that is becoming near impossible to live in my house. You cannot see the mould but it is in the wall cavities and it seems to be also under the unit, the smell is all nearly in all my kitchen cupboards. When you go away and the unit is closed up, the smell upon return is worse and makes you want to be sick. It has gotten progressively worse over the years to the point that now mould is getting on my cook ware and you can smell it on food storage containers and kitchen appliances.

I was wondering if this can have an undue affect to one’s health besides allergies or asthma, since I have lived here I have not been well but cannot understand why. So I have some questions they you maybe able help me with.

Firstly, housing have put two whirly birds in plus vents inside and out side over a period several months but I feel that this is having no effect what so very to the problem. I now have termites plus have been told that I have dry rot in sub floor.

I need to know if you can help me find someone who can do an inspection as well as a written report out-lining how bad the mould is and what should be done to fix this it. I need to know how it should be treated as well how it should be done and it the whirly birds and vents enough to fix the problem.

Thanks for getting in touch and sharing your concerns. We have visited the NSW public housing website, and copied and pasted the text below for your information – it appears your landlord, the NSW government, does have an obligation to fix this problem quickly (highlighted in yellow). We have also listed response times – it seems 20 days is the longest.

We phoned the maintenance line (1300468746) and because of the number of calls on hold the message was to call back. However, we called in business hours and as this number is a 24-hour one, you may like to call late at night and hope there is no queue. We suggest you ask for an inspection and for the problem to be fixed within the required 20-day period. If this does not happen then it appears you may complain and have an independent assessment via The Independent Appeals Agency for Social Housing in NSW (see text below)

The contact details for the agency are as follows:
Free call: 1800 629 794
Phone: 02 9715 7955

We hope this assists and that the problem is fixed quickly – this is your right.

Find out more about the Housing Appeals Committee.

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