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Tenants Action Groups of WA - Evictions Fallout

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Presentation by the Tenants Action Group of WA, Evictions Fallout: The mental health impacts of eviction and the fear of eviction. presented at the Western Australian Mental Health Conference 2019.

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Tenants Action Groups of WA - Evictions Fallout

  1. 1. Tenants Action Group of WA Tenancy WA Shelter WA
  2. 2. Evictions Fallout: the mental health impacts of eviction and the fear of eviction Session Structure Acknowledgment of Country The problem of eviction (Vachel Spirason (Tenancy WA) The fallout and consequences (Colin Penter TAGWA) The Solutions (Vachel Spirason Tenancy WA & Michelle McKenzie Shelter WA)
  3. 3. Session Purpose • Understand the impact of evictions upon the mental health of renters and their families • Highlight the importance of tenancy reform and changes in policy and practice as a way to address the evictions fallout
  4. 4. Evictions in Western Australia • Definition of Eviction • S.60 Residential Tenancy Act 1987 • List all grounds… • The ‘blurry edges’ of eviction • Hard to get accurate figures across all three tenure types
  5. 5. Evictions in Private Rental Market • Available stats • Breakdown of issues • Case Study
  6. 6. Evictions in Public Housing • Available stats • Breakdown of issues • Case Study
  7. 7. Evictions in Community Housing • Available stats • Breakdown of issues • Case Study
  8. 8. Fallout from Evictions • Homelessness • Poverty • Prolonged stress & insecurity • Profound psychological distress, and anxiety • Increased risk of depression • Increased risk of mental health crisis • Significantly higher rates of depression 2 years after eviction
  9. 9. Fallout from Evictions (continued) • High incidence of severe post traumatic stress disorder symptoms • Increased emergency department use • Initiation or relapse into harmful drug and alcohol use • Elevated suicide risk • Harm to family and children’s wellbeing and life chances • Double stigma
  10. 10. What are the Solutions? • Rental Reform: • Security of Tenure • End no cause evictions • Cultural shift around the norms, expectations and rights of renters • Better management of public and community housing • Address the drastic demand for public and community housing • Control/stabilise rents • End 3 strikes
  11. 11. What are the Solutions? • Increase tenancy and psycho-social support to prevent evictions • Increased income- raise Newstart and DSP • Improved system of dispute resolution • Housing as a mental health intervention • Better engagement between mental health workers and tenancy/ housing workers and tenant advocates
  12. 12. The Make Renting Fair Alliance • Lead Organisations • Supporters so far • We welcome your organisation’s support • Website and facebook
  13. 13. Beyond Rental Reform • What other ways might we better address the intersection of mental health and housing to the benefit of all people?

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