Jenna is 49 years old with a mild intellectual disability who had lived in the same public housing home all of her life. The tenancy agreement for this house was solely in her father’s name and all attempts to have Jenna listed to the tenancy agreement were unsuccessful.
So when Jenna’s father recently passed away Jenna was left with no tenancy agreement with Qld Housing. She was the only person residing in the house and Qld Housing wanted the premises for larger families. They demanded that Jenna leave and remove all items from the property.
SUFY provided advocacy for Jenna. We informed her of her tenancy rights and assisted Jenna to speak with Qld Housing informing them of her intention to stay in the house. It had been the only home Jenna had ever known. Jenna attended all meetings and SUFY encouraged and supported her to speak up about her unique situation. She was at risk of being evicted because her name was not on the tenancy agreement. Jenna was very vulnerable and at risk of being made homeless.
Qld Housing was also trying to hold her responsible for the hoarding in the house. These items belonged to her father and brother. Jenna had no authority to clean up or remove anything from the house while her father was alive.
Jenna was not confident nor competent to deal with this situation by herself. SUFY assisted Jenna to obtain information on tenancy rights and to write a letter to Qld Housing. This letter identified that Jenna was not responsible for the condition of her home. She was not listed as a tenant and this was not grounds for eviction.
In our role as advocates SUFY attended all meetings between Qld Housing and Jenna. SUFY assisted Jenna to explore alternative housing options that were suitable and accessible and in her local community where her familiar supports are located.
By developing a trusting relationship with Jenna, SUFY was able to negotiate more vigorously on Jenna’s behalf. SUFY was also able to assist Jenna to speak up for herself in relation to her tenancy rights and her lack of control over the results of her family’s hoarding.
Note: Names have been changed.