Homeless Persons’ Legal Service: working to prevent homelessness

In the past financial year, PIAC’s Homeless Persons’ Legal Service assisted 1354 clients. Here is one of the many success stories.

Tony* approached HPLS lawyers at the Salvation Army Streetlevel Mission in June. He had been sole carer for his elderly mother and many years earlier, had moved in to her Housing NSW apartment in order to care for her.

Tony’s mother had recently died and he had been served with an eviction notice by Housing NSW. Tony had no savings and, due to his own serious medical problems and pending hospitalisation, he was reliant on Centrelink and unable to work.

Many years earlier, Tony had owned a unit. He had sold this to a friend however they had failed to effect transfer of full legal title so Tony remained listed as the owner. As a result, Housing NSW had decided that he was ineligible for public housing. HPLS lawyers put together a submission with evidence to Housing NSW, explaining that he was an owner in name only and had no rights to the property, nor to any proceeds of sale. As such, Tony should be allowed to succeed his mother’s tenancy and stay in his home.

Housing NSW accepted our submissions, discontinued the eviction proceedings and allowed Tony to sign a new lease in his own name, giving Tony some much needed stability and removing the risk of homelessness for him.

*Not his real name

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