Loss of Tenant Advocacy Services Unfair, Possibly Discriminatory

“People with disabilities will be badly affected by the Qld state government’s axing of the Tenant Advice and Advocacy Service (TAAS) program” said Mr Ken Wade of disability advocacy organisation Queensland Advocacy Incorporated. The Housing Minister Dr Bruce Flegg announced the termination in late July, and services are expected to cease operation from Wednesday 31 October 2012. Services all over the Queensland provide advocacy to people with high and complex needs, especially those in danger of losing their housing.

“The Tenancy Advocacy services are especially important to the thousands of people with disabilities living in Brisbane’s boarding houses and hostels” said Mr Wade.

“The Inner North and Inner South Brisbane tenancy advice services provide assistance and advice to many people with disabilities – people who may have an intellectual disability, cognitive disorders or mental health issues and who are often one step away from the streets. Without TAAS services people subject to summary evictions will have no help to contest them” he said.

“This will punish many people with disabilities already denied long-term independent housing. Secure and safe accommodation is one of life’s basic necessities, and many people with disabilities are just one RTA form from the street. With so few advocacy services available already, this will exacerbate an already dire situation for tenants with disabilities who often need someone to help them with legal matters.”

“The TAAS services are funded by tenants themselves – from the interest on tenants’ bonds. It’s disappointing that the government is using executive power to axe a user-pays system.”

Source: Queensland Advocacy Inc