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Issues for long-suffering tenants

Not a meeting with public tenants goes past without hearing horror stories about preventable problems in public housing writes Geoff Turnbull in the April 2012 edition of The South Sydney Herald.

At HNSW meetings a staffer takes people aside to discuss their problems away from the broader discussion but seldom do even these conversations make any difference. Almost universally tenants say that if HNSW could address basic problems, like maintenance, safety issues, troublesome neighbours and appropriate allocations, many of their concerns would disappear.

One safety problem is removal of discarded syringes. Currently NSW Health has concerns about going onto HNSW land to clear away sharps reported to them and until this is resolved needles lie around longer than need be or are shoved into cracks and vents. Many syringe dumping spots have been highlighted in the Redfern and Waterloo Safety Audits.

While the discussion goes on about the proposed Redfern needle dispensing machine, public tenants are pushing HNSW and NSW Health to put sharps bins into Redfern and Waterloo public housing replicating the successful introduction of sharps bins at Northcott public housing. The main problem seems to be Redfern Waterloo is in a different Area Health Service to Surry Hills.

Geoff Turnbull is Spokesperson for REDWatch.

Source: The South Sydney Herald April 2012 –