Antisocial behaviour in public housing – changes in relation to minor and moderate antisocial behaviour
Last published 30 Nov 2018
We are updating our Antisocial Behaviour Management policy to encourage tenants to take a positive step towards engaging with the support they need to sustain their tenancies.
We want tenants to feel safe in their homes and in their communities. That’s why we’re asking tenants to refer themselves to support services as a first step in managing their first incident of minor and moderate antisocial behaviour.
We’re also committed to working in partnership with other government and non-government organisations to best support our tenants.
What is antisocial behaviour?
Antisocial behaviour includes:
- criminal and illegal activities
- behaviour that places the safety of others at risk
- inappropriate behaviour by tenants, other household occupants and visitors that cause deliberate or reckless damage to a DCJ property.
DCJ defines antisocial behaviour in three categories which are treated differently for the purposes of regulation:
- Severe illegal behaviour is behaviour which poses a risk to the safety or security of residents or property and may result in criminal charges and/or conviction; or significant damage to a DCJ property.
- Serious antisocial behaviour involves activities that severely disturb neighbours; place the safety or security of a tenant, other household members, neighbours or DCJ staff at risk; or cause damage to a DCJ property.
- Minor and moderate antisocial behaviour involves activities which disturb the peace, comfort or privacy of other tenants or neighbours.
What's changed for tenants?
From 30 November 2018, once we’ve substantiated a first instance of minor and moderate antisocial behaviour, we’ll invite the tenant to their local DCJ Housing office to meet with a client service officer. We encourage people to bring along an advocate or additional support person.
At this meeting, we’ll speak about relevant support services that the tenant can access or check if they are already engaged with one. We will ask the tenant for permission to share information with the support service. We’ll also give them a referral form to complete, with input from the support service.
If the tenant refers themselves to the service and returns their completed form to us within 14 calendar days, we’ll issue a warning. If they do not return the form, we’ll record a strike 1 instead.
Tenants who receive three strikes for antisocial behaviour within 12 months may face eviction.
There are some exceptions. For example, if a tenant cannot get help from a support service because the service is too busy or there are no services operating in their area, we will issue a warning.
What if I already have a support provider?
The policy change aims to encourage tenants who may have disengaged from their existing support networks to get back in touch or to change the support they receive to help them address their behaviour. If you re-engage with your existing support service, a warning will be issued instead of a first strike.
You are encouraged to invite your support service, case worker or advocate with you to your initial antisocial behaviour interview.
What if I don’t have a support provider?
If you do not have a support provider, you will be issued a substantiated antisocial behaviour referral form. The form contains information advising that you have a substantiated first incident of minor and moderate antisocial behaviour and you need to refer yourself to a support service.
The form includes:
- Your details
- The name of a relevant support service
- Consent for the support provider and DCJ to communicate, and
- A section to be completed by the support provider, advising DCJ of the outcome of the contact.
What can I do if a complaint is received about me?
If a complaint is received about your tenancy DCJ will send a letter inviting you to attend a scheduled interview. You can invite your support service, case worker or advocate to attend the interview with you.
When you get the letter, you should:
- contact DCJ immediately
- follow the directions in the letter you have received
- attend the scheduled interview
- provide the required evidence to DCJ
- cease any antisocial behaviour immediately.
You can also find details of support services at your local office or online at HSNet. Accessing support may assist you to meet your tenancy obligations and reduce the risk to your tenancy.
For independent and free advice you can contact:
Aboriginal Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service
Greater Sydney Aboriginal Tenants Service
Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hawkesbury, Macarthur
Phone: 02 9698 0873
Northern NSW Aboriginal Tenants Service
Hunter, North Coast, New England
Phone: 02 6643 4426
Free call: 1800 248 913
Southern NSW Aboriginal Tenants Service – Murra Mia
Illawarra, South Coast, South East, Riverina, Upper and Central Murray
Phone: 02 4472 9363
Free call: 1800 672 185
Western Aboriginal Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service
Central West, North West, Far West
Phone: 02 6884 0969
For more information on antisocial behaviour and your obligations as a public housing tenant please go to our website https://www.facs.nsw.gov.au/housing/living/rights-responsibilities/antisocial-behaviour