#Residential Disputes
Minister for Family and Community Services in NSW

Housing NSW is over-charging its tenant Elizabeth Anne Ciesiolka (Libby) at a rate of 50% of her gross income. It continues to charge rent on Child Support when Libby does not receive this. Housing NSW is sending letters to the tenant demanding the overcharged rent be paid and it can evict her from her home of 19 years on the basis of her failure to pay 50% of her gross income to it.

You can watch a YouTube video about this petition:
Short version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeCVCJ0TTZg&feature=youtu.be
Long version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoxdtCvk0Vs&feature=youtu.be

Housing NSW’s assessment of Libby’s rental subsidy application totals $213.30 rent per week but the documents provided by Libby show an annual income of $18,508, plus her son’s annual income of $3,735 totalling $22,243. The assessment charges rent at $11,073 per annum which is at a rate of 50% of the household’s gross income. This is causing severe housing stress and anxiety for Libby.

Housing NSW’s assessment of Libby’s rental subsidy does not refer to any of the documents she submitted and statutorily declared in her subsidy application. She has not been informed of why they were rejected. Housing NSW policies require she be informed in writing of any perceived irregularities in her documents but she never has been given reasons why they have been repeatedly rejected, although sometimes accepted, over the years.

Housing NSW's assessment and the following documents can be found in the contentious documents file at http://www.pdfhost.net/index.php?Action=Download&File=c8e0d2c07fdb7b8398889c8812bb782d

Rejected documents
• 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.

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.

To the Minister for Family and Community Services of New South Wales:

We the undersigned, ask the NSW Minister for Family and Community Services, Prue Goward, to stop over-charging Elizabeth Anne Ciesiolka (Libby) rent at 50% of the income which she declared in her rental subsidy applications, or notify her in accordance with Housing NSW’s fraud and non-disclosure policies of why those income documents were rejected as the proper basis for calculating her rent.

The Save Libby petition to Minister for Family and Community Services in NSW was written by Libby Ciesiolka and is in the category Residential Disputes at GoPetition.