Community housing in Australia: One eviction notice away from homelessness

People who rely on community housing are being forced into debt and consequent homelessness, writes Madeline Gourlay.

MARTINA MACEY had hoped the Port Phillips Community Housing Association (PPHA) would ensure her safety.

Instead, they forced her into debt, pushing her towards homelessness. They had failed to realise that, unlike many community housing tenants, this 50-year old’s persistence wouldn’t let them off so easily.

In 2016, Ms Macey, who has lived in her community house since January 2000, requested a walk-in shower as arthritis in her knees and back were causing her difficulty when she had to climb into the bath to shower.

Ms Macey says:

“It became dangerous for me to have a shower over the bath as the standard bath sides were too high.”  

PPHA had already installed the disability modification for another tenant. Yet, when Ms Macey explained to them that she couldn’t afford to pay for it, PPHA insisted she would need to pay a contribution of $860 for the disability modification.

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