Antisocial behaviour in public housing – information for support services about changes to minor and moderate antisocial behaviour policy
Last published 30 Nov 2018
We want everyone who lives in and around public housing to enjoy peace, comfort and privacy in their homes. We have an Antisocial Behaviour Management policy that helps keep communities safe.
Our policy uses three strikes to manage minor and moderate antisocial behaviour. This include behaviour like making lots of noise or having out of control parties. It also includes bullying or causing damage to common areas.
We help people who are causing problems to engage with support services. Our aim is to help them to change their behaviour and keep their tenancy.
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 FACS property.
FACS has defined antisocial behaviour into 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 FACS property.
- Serious antisocial behaviour involves activities that severely disturb neighbours; place the safety or security of a tenant, other household members, neighbours or FACS staff at risk; or cause damage to a FACS 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?
Our policy now provides extra encouragement for people to get support.
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 FACS 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 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.
What if a tenant already has 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 focus of the support they receive to address their behaviour. Tenants who re-engage with their existing support service will be issued a warning instead of a first strike.
Tenants are encouraged to invite their support service or advocate with them to your initial antisocial behaviour interview.
What do support providers need to do?
We give the tenant a referral form to show us they have referred themselves for support to address their behaviour. The tenant will bring the form to you and there is a section for your service to complete. You can decide who within your organisation completes your part of the form.
Once you have completed the support service section, the tenant needs to return the form to us. They have only 14 calendar days to return this form or they risk a strike 1 notice.
If your service is too busy or you do not offer the type of support they need, the tenant will not be disadvantaged. You can let us know on the form if you can't take them on as a client. The person still needs your help to complete the form, even if you can't take them on as a client.
If the person brings the completed form back to us within 14 calendar days, we note it and will issue a warning. If they do not return the form in time, we will issue a strike notice instead. If they get three strikes on their tenancy within 12 months, they risk eviction.
The form can be handed to the local FACS office or emailed directly to FACS, but it must be received within 14 days of the referral letter being issued.
What happens next?
If the tenant returns the completed referral form within 14 days, they will receive a warning.
If the tenant does not return the form within 14 days, they will receive a first strike. Tenants who receive three strikes for antisocial behaviour within 12 months may face eviction.
For more information regarding antisocial behaviour please go to our website https://www.facs.nsw.gov.au/housing/living/rights-responsibilities/antisocial-behaviour