Michelle and her adult son were living in public housing near Bankstown in NSW. However, there were a huge number of issues with the property. Michelle had been asking to have these problems rectified for an astonishing eight years with no result until she contacted Spinal Cord Injuries Australia who appointed an individual advocate to help her get the issues rectified. Problems with the property included:
- Severe mould and dampness throughout the property
- Paint peeling from all the walls in and outside the property
- Bathroom door not closing
- Blocked gutters
- Blocked drainage
- Windows not opening
- Windowsills rotting
- Broken flyscreen
- Broken back door
- Laundry room (internal) flooding after rain
Michelle’s advocate made repeated representations at the Housing NSW Bankstown office, with no result, even though he bought to their attention the fact that Michelle has a prolapsed disc and canal stenosis (abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal) which causes loss of balance, meaning the risk of her falling and sustaining an injury were very high. Michelle also suffers from asthma and was at high risk of an attack due to the extensive mould throughout the property. She even had documentation outlining these health issues from both her doctor and Occupational Therapist.
What made the whole situation worse is that Michelle has also been diagnosed with anxiety, depression and agoraphobia, and had been completely overwhelmed by the whole ordeal.
Michelle’s advocate made an application to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) as negotiations had come to a halt with no resolution at Housing NSW and Land & Housing Corporation (L&HC). As a result of that representation, specific orders were made to rectify the issues at the property.
Unfortunately, this was not the happy ending Michelle had hoped for as the tradespeople sent to rectify some of these problems actually caused further damage to the property.
Due to Housing NSW and the L&HC continuing to be uncooperative, her advocate was required to make a second application to NCAT. Finally, after this application the extensive repairs to the property were completed and all the problems rectified making it a safe and happy environment for Michelle and her son to live in.
Testimonial from Michelle Stewart
“In the past few years I have been represented by MM, an individual advocate from Spinal Cord Injuries Australia. My whole quality of life has changed because of the phenomenal job that he has done representing me.
I could not have asked for a better outcome. I am so fortunate, and it is difficult for me to even express how thankful I am to have had SCIA provide an advocate to represent me.
Having an advocate who had the required knowledge and skills made an enormous and enduring impact on Michelle’s life