Housing Trust dump


Story Details

“Quite clearly this rubbish has been here a long time… and his carers have been here and seen it, done nothing, nothing, plain and simple… do they care about his health? That’s the way I feel,” says Troy.

This isn't a derelict house… what you are about to see is shocking and happening with the full the knowledge of various authorities.

It's owned by the State Government... Housing SA have leased it to David... a gentle soul with mental health issues and special needs under the care of the Guardianship Board.

But the only one caring for David in this squalor is his mate Troy.

“He’s me mate. I was on the street and he put me up… they've been telling me for months they're coming to clean the place. You can’t live like this without a toilet. They're taking $180 a fortnight to live in this,” says Troy.

For Troy being on the street was better than this... He now lives in a front room which he's cleaned and painted... and cooks nutritional meals for David.

Here's where David sleeps at night.

“It’s cold Frank and getting to the stage where he wants a heater. You can’t put heat into a house like this… so much faeces on floor, can you imagine the stench,” explains Troy.

And the kitchen where he cooks basic meals…

“You can't use facilities here… we're cooking at front… he cooks in here ok, his eggs… I wont cook in here,” says Troy.

The floor is covered in cat faeces which Troy does his best to keep clean.

“David goes twice a week… they give him $40 to get his groceries, I'll show you what groceries he buys twice a week… milk, sugar and toilet paper,” says Troy.

“There’s his shoes… what he is walking around in… this is State Trustee… c’mon guys these are people seeing him twice a week and not knowing… you can’t be ok with this Frank…you cant be,” pleads Troy.

There's no toilet... David pulled it out because local drug addicts had entered his place uninvited to inject themselves and flush away the used needles... So he uses the servo across the road.

But Troy makes sure the bathroom is kept somewhat clean… even though the mould can’t be that healthy.

Amid the graffiti covered walls... the broken windows and piles of litter... there's the bitter irony of this discarded Housing SA letter. It claims they're listening but clearly in David's case... little else.

And this is a note left by a care worker...

“Hi David, came to visit…not home… Chris, Anglicare.

What's scandalous here is that social workers visit David twice a week... Troy says he called for help to clean up the mess almost two months ago.

“I was so upset… spoke to Anglicare… got psyche in… head of housing… all in the backyard and I said I can't believe this is going on... they said getting people in to do it… I was upset it’d gotten this far,” said Troy.
Julie McDonald from the Housing Trust Tenants Association was shocked but not surprised when she saw David's sad situation.

“Social inclusion is failing, and failing miserably and unless we do something about it you are going to see more and more of this,” explains Maxine.

She says it is a symptom of government policy with vulnerable people left to fend for themselves in the community.

“This is just disgusting the way they tip people into public housing that have high needs and don't support them properly… there needs to be purpose built accommodation for people with high needs and it needs to be supported properly,” says Maxine.

Now struggling Housing SA tenants are in fear the government may follow New South Wales in imposing a $20 tax on every empty bedroom in social housing properties.

“It is appalling we don't have enough one bedroom houses in Australia for people to move into therefore can’t put them in smaller properties to tax them for extra bedrooms that have to live in, is disgusting,” says Maxine.

As for David, he has another handicap... no teeth. After years of taking mind-numbing medication.

One can only wonder what could have befallen David if he hadn't met Troy... who is battling cancer and is soon to move on.

“If I won lotto tomorrow I couldn't walk out, leave this bloke here… c’mon I need some help,” says Troy.