AN ELDERLY victim of bullying and harassment in her public housing complex has been issued with an eviction notice after confronting one of her tormentors.
Just a week ago, 73-year-old Susan (not her real name) told the Daily that death threats, abuse and assaults were routine in the State Government-run apartments.
Only a day after publication, she received a “notice to remedy breach” from the state, warning that if she could not sort out the issue before July 9, she would have two weeks to pack up and leave.
The official letter states Susan had “interfered with the reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of a neighbour”.
When she recalls how she felt forced to stand up to this apparent victim, anger creeps into her voice.
“(His visitor) gets drunk, kicks on people’s doors and yells abuse,” she said.
“Everyone has had a turn from him and he must have decided it was my turn.
“He was carrying on. He’s given death threats. People are afraid of this guy.”
But he did not count on what Susan described as her “righteous anger”.
“I got angry, and said, ‘How dare you come over and start abusing us’.
“You leave us alone.
“I’ve had enough of this and I’m reporting it.”
Police arrived soon after and the abusive “victim” fled from the rear of the complex.
It is understood police have been called to the apartments more than 20 times to deal with similar complaints.
Late last month, Susan joined a chorus of angry Department of Housing residents through the Daily, telling how their homes had taken on a hellish dimension.
Her son in Brisbane has joined the charge, labelling the harassment and abuse a form of terrorism.
But it appears that in the eyes of the state it is Susan – who has lived in the complex for 17 years – who is causing the problems.
“I rang the department and was told, ‘You had no right to abuse that visitor. How dare you’,” she said.
“Then the penny dropped. It’s not about the visitor, it’s about the story in the paper.
“Well she’s not going to shut me up.”
A spokeswoman for Housing Minister Karen Struthers said the department could not comment on individual cases due to privacy regulations but the notices were “normal practice”, not a way of targeting whistleblowers.
The story so far:
June 6: After no action from Dept of Housing, Susan confronted a neighbour’s abusive visitor and called police. She complained to the State Government but was told more people needed to back up her story.
June 15: A group of residents told the Daily that psychiatric patients, substance abusers and drug dealers were making life hell in a Department of Housing complex. Even after 11 complaints were made, nothing had been done.
June 27: Susan first speaks to the Daily, about assaults, abuse and even a car being torched by hooligans. She told of residents drinking, taking drugs and threatening neighbours.
June 29: Susan is given a “notice to remedy breach” for allegedly disturbing the peace for a neighbour’s visitor. It was a response to his drunken tirade. She has until July 9 to fix the issue or face eviction.
Today: Dept of Housing is yet to tell Susan what needs to be done before deadline.