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Friday, 2 November 2012

HouseO charge Tenant 50% of Gross Income as Rent #SaveLibby

Occupy Sydney participants are flabbergasted but unsurprised as the now DOCS run State Government social housing provider Housing NSW -the largest landlord in NSW - tries to evict 19 year tenant , single parent Libby Ciesiolka from her home. Why?? Because she objects to their extortionate demand that Libby pay 50% of her gross income in rent. Despite several calls to Housing NSW and Minister Pru Gowards Office, Housing NSW or the NSW Government refuse to comment on this case or answer how many similar draconian cases are on Housing NSWs books.

 Libby is a dedicated drug free single mum who has dedicated much of her past 20 years to the challenging task of raising 2 beautifully raised children in the oft challenging environment of a NSW HouseO Estate. She has been a sometimes outspoken advocate for educational and other local issues which affect her community. 

 At Occupy Sydney we strongly suspect that it is her outspokenness which causes her landlord to curiously dismiss her clearly relevant income documentation in favour of its own version of her income as more government departments act to terrorise the population into silence.

 According to NSW Housing, these government generated statements are rejected evidence of income:
• First Employment Income Details: This document was rejected as incomplete by CSO Nik on 7 August 2012 because it did not state income per week and was not marked with a Company Seal.

• Second Employment Income Details: stating income per week as $385.58 and marked with the Company Seal 

• Letter from Child Support Agency stating that entitlement to Child Support would cease on 18 November 2011.

• Child Support Agency Certificate under ss.116(2) of the Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988 (Cth): showing that child support remains unpaid. 

• Centrelink Income Statement: 7 August stating eligibility for Family Assistance but that no income is received fortnightly it is received as a lump sum at the end of the financial year. 

Libby’s son:
• PAYG income tax statement 2012 and 2011 with 2012 showing that Libby’s son’s income averages $71.83 per week. 

Libby contends (and we agree that this is a fair minded viewpoint. Libby & the People demand that Housing NSW apply common sense , not draconian tyranny in its dealings with tenants.

1. The amount assessed as $423.41 appears to be calculated from the rejected First Employment Income Details and therefore rejects the Second Employment Income Details stating income per week as $385.58.

2. The assessment fails to accept Child Support documentation that shows that child support ceased on 18 November 2011 when Libby’s youngest son finished school and that the child support remains unpaid as the payer has withheld payments and cannot be located. This issue was discussed with CSO Nik who said that HNSW must continue to charge rent on Child Support until a letter stating that no Child Support is owed is provided. Libby expressed concern about being charged rent on unpaid child support and Nik said “you have nothing to worry about because Housing NSW is ‘not for profit’”. Libby contacted the Child Support Agency but they could not provide such a letter because money is still owed. Housing NSW continues to charge rent on Child Support and Libby has already paid 50% of that Child Support to Housing NSW.

3. No account was taken of Libby’s son’s income from paid employment. Instead the assessment charges rent on Newstart but he is not eligible for Newstart as he is only 21. Libby’s son is not eligible for a payment from Centrelink because Libby receives Family Assistance for him. Nor is he eligible for both Family Assistance and Youth Allowance as previously assessed by Housing NSW.


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