Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Termination notice for the Telegraph (part 2)

As we recently advised, we've stopped buying the Daily Telegraph, after its latest atrocious treatment of public housing tenants and occupants.

We reproduce below the TU's letter to the editor on the matter.


Dear Sir or Madam

This is a complaint about your article ‘Houso rorters shown the door’ (The Telegraph 3 March 2013).

The article includes statements that are wrong and offensive.The article refers to persons who are granted tenancies under the ‘succession’ policy as ‘public housing freeloaders’. This is wrong: these persons are not ‘freeloaders’. They pay rent to Housing NSW – in most cases, 25 per cent of their income – and may have done so for many years.

To be eligible for a tenancy under the general rules of the succession policy, a person must be an authorised additional occupant of the property (that is, a member of the tenant’s household disclosed to Housing NSW). If the person is other than a spouse or partner of the tenant, they must also have been an authorised additional occupant for not less than two years, and eligible for social housing.

As an authorised additional occupant, the person’s income is included in Housing NSW’s calculation of the rent payable for the tenancy. If their income is sufficiently high, the rent payable will be the market rent.

To refer wrongly to a person as a ‘freeloader’ and ‘houso rorter’ is offensive. It is especially offensive in situations where the succession policy is relevant. In most situations where the question of succession arises, the person is also dealing with the death or sudden departure of a significant person in their life: usually a spouse, partner or parent. The Telegraph has insulted people when they are at their most vulnerable.    

You owe your readers a correction, and public housing tenants and occupants an apology.

Yours sincerely

Charmaine Jones

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