Friday, August 6, 2010


Our House Swap has been running now for about 10 years. It is run by a tenant and has no official standing with any of the 8 Depts of Housing. We have facilitated contact between thousands of tenants and have had hundreds of successful swaps. The OHS website works way better than the official DoH run Mutual Exchange Program or Transfer system because the tenants have control.

To me - living in public housing is a PRIVILEGE not a RIGHT - but so many tenants spoil it for the good ones by trashing their properties and not valuing their communities. These are also the people most vocal about how bad Housing workers are - when actually, they contribute nothing to improving their lot in life.

I had considered attaching a blog before, but feared it would turn into one big whingefest. However, several things have happened in the past few months which have prompted me to set up this blog - with the main purpose being to gather information from other tenants about issues which affect them. Real issues - not whinges about a tap not being fixed or a dog barking - I want to collate real information that I can feed back to the "Powers That Be", so that they can get a true understanding of the issues tenants face.

This is not about me - so don't expect lots of blog posts - this is about YOU and your contributions as tenants.

Now, having said that, I don't have a huge amount of time to read and process all the info floating around in the ether - and I have very little tolerance for personal gripes or "victims" - so if there is someone else out there who would like to pitch in and help improve the standards of how Housing workers treat tenants - then please email me.

OHS Admin

One last thing - I am a DoH tenant and I value my privacy - so you will understand why I don't reveal my real contact details.


  1. I did a house swap from Albury to Wollongong. I have been here for 5 mths and in that whole time I have seen my neighbour once only and my other neighbours tell me she has been here for 10 yrs alone. Although she maintains her property very well and I could not ask for a better neighbour she is never there. She has a 3 bedroom house with a lovely big yard that would suit a family yet the housing dept do nothing about these situations. there are ppl everywhere with only themselves in 3/4 beds and it seems to me that relocaing to a smaller property would go a long way to ease the public housing shortage.

  2. I am a DoH Tenant, I have a problem with a neighbor & I have done everything by the DoH demands,Which resulted in the Neighbor being given an Anti Social Behaviour put on her & I have Proirty Transfer But have heard nothing about it apart for one letter about a Transfer
    I would like to take this further but do not know which steps to take.
    I would be very happy if anyone could give any advice on this situation.

  3. Hi, to the person who has had their unsocialised neighbour given an anti social behaviour AVO, I think the only other things to do is talk to your tenant resources person in your area (they are listed in the quarterly paper we get, or Housing staff should give it to you without you having to tell them why), because the tenant resources person can find out things for you that you can't ask Housing and get an answer...other than that there is only the tenants tribunal, find out the tenants resource representative for your area and talk with them, I think, they are more on the tenants side, and good luck.

  4. There are very bad tenants in this block of units. 'Area Supervisors' have been dishonest and pig headed in response to my complaints. It is no wonder someone is finally sueing Housing NSW. Housing NSW...take responsibility for your tenants or lose money and jobs.

  5. i live in a 3 bedroom home, my kids have all gone, when i moved in here it was a mess i have spent thousands on my home, why should i have to be relocated to a small place and let this home go to someone who might not keep it as i have, would i be expected to move to a small place if i owned it i think not i look after my home and i will not move unless its in a pine box

    1. thats extremely selfish of you. its not your house. you are renting it. there are families living on the st. if you had your children living with you stil, you would definitely be complaining about pple like you. grow up and see things for what they are

  6. I am a tenant that has not actually swapped houses but would like to in the future, especially interstate. I have found your site to be helpful and appreciate the further commitment of a blog. Well done :)

  7. I'm a tenant and have noticed that there's one rule for some and one rule for others. My neighbours moved in and have two brand new BMWs one a 4 wd worth 80k and a sports car also BMW worth around 50k, not to mention the big screen TVs they have. To move into a department house you are not meant to have more than 30 k worth of assets including your car so a few friends who've been on the list forever, two with disabled children and one who was an abused wife are outraged and contacted my housing dept. We were told it was bad luck for my friends and that the tenants must of worked hard for what they had even when we pointed out they were over asset guidlines,he then called us lazy and told us to get of our ass and do the same. We were horrified, I work but If I could afford what these tenants have I'd buy my own place and leave the house to someone who needs it..

  8. To the above comment regarding neighbours with the BMW's. I have found over and over again throughout the years of being a tenant. DoH (Housing NSW) are a law unto themselves

  9. Yep it must be the same here in Melbourne where I reside, it's just not right!!!

  10. I am a DoH tenant (9 years) and just discovered your OHS service/website via GC Tenants Inc Newsletter. Fabulous! Qld Housing obviously don't want their tenants to know about this as I have asked many times about options for relocation to more suitable housing for my family. The only option offered: 'get out of your DoH dwelling, and go back onto the waiting list for what you want. You will have to rent on the open market for 10 years or so until another becomes available.'

  11. Dear 'OurHouseSwap' administrator. Thankyou. Your initiative, generosity+obvious tenacity are admirable.
    I am a tenant. I am grateful for roof over my head.
    However, over ten years of, tenant harrassment, threatening/dangerous behaviour and Housing N.S.W. indifference, belligerence and incompetence have affected me profoundly.
    I am glad to have found this indispensable resource.I realise, now that my experiences are not unique.
    Together we are stronger,smarter and more resilient.

  12. Anonymous- Housing SA tenant
    After waiting over 23yrs for a home, 4 of those on category 1, I was finally housed 8 days after contacting our Housing minister. However they housed me in an extra extra large block when I was specifically listed for a small place due to disability issues.
    I was threatend & told if I didnt take it Id be not given anything else, so 1 yr later and struggling to manage the place, Im off to the Appeals unit as Housing SA wont implement their very own Disability Modification policies.
    I am so close to leaving as renting through the Government & being treated the way they treat us, is absolutely disgusting.
    And Im 1 of the house proud tenants.

  13. iam sill waiting on housing to put me on the waiting list housing pathways and i dont think iam may get it iam 53 thins go on here are nuts lot sick pple here what cani do next

  14. Does anyone know the wait time for Priority Transfer in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney?
    I can't seem to find out.

  15. Re Priority Transfers... how long is a piece of string!

    I know people who have been waiting two years and I also know of some ferals who were moved in 3 weeks.

    There is no real answer to this question. Sorry.

  16. Re priority transfers: Above comment so the people waiting for transfer for 2 years were they on Priority wait list?

  17. Yes. The transfer system is really broken.

    I suggest a letter a week - and don't listen to them when they say "we are doing the best we can". Then start sending 2 letters a week...

  18. we have been in qld housing for 6 years now,and put up with drunken teens threats and abuse. now we have people move in over the road,terifying antisocial behaviours the whole family,we started neighbourhood watch so we could try helping ourselves the right way, but it is now worse, i and others have put in several affidavids and nothing i have gone from depressed to ptst and worse please help.

  19. i have been in the mutual exchange for few years and i didnt have any one call me for a swap or information about my ad and i think beacause of my area has a bad name can u help .

  20. they say its piority but all up to them doh bug them call them go to the office and they say they have to wait for a property u can wait for months or years really depends on ur situation good luck.

  21. ive now been waiting for a priority transfer it is now been 17months no glimmer of hope......

  22. i moved into my doh dwelling 3 months ago the stove doesnt work properly the gate is broken the taps leak the fly screens are not staying on the exhaust fan is filthy ant the place has so many cockroahes its not funny they say we will get these all fixed but here i am still waiting and no matter how often i remind them nothing happens

  23. Finally the department offers me a place only to find it has no bath or internal laundry and they knew I had a disability with my spine and a 3 year old child.

  24. Its now been 2 years on priority transfer :(

  25. hi ive been in this DOH for 4 yrs :( everyday i feel like crap. when i moved in i didnt expect much but i did expect flooring. the only flooring i have is bare wood and u can see holes through them. in winter it is soo cold we have to have the heater on or we would freeze. and in summer the house is soo hot it is actually cooler to sit outside in 35 degree heat. i just wish it would have proper flooring instead of barewood. and i mean unpolished wood. how am i pose to keep it clean. if anyone has any ideas on how i can make DOH put in proper flooring pls let me kids are always getting sick. if it rains the whole house is wet. under the house is just dirt.

  26. Hi I live in wa and have a 2 bedroom over 55's villa , my neighbours have been harrassing me since I moved in and now has another person involved now . I have been abused threatened and punched but the police don't do anything about it they say sort it out yourselves ? I have a serious heart condition and when upset have mini strokes , I would dearly love to move over to nsw to be close to my family but homeswest say NO . I am looking to swap out of here with someone else but everytime someone comes to look the woman from next door shoots off her mouth and they say it is too noisy ( being the woman next door ) . I am not ungrateful but I just want out of here now as I fear for my safety now . One of the women in question has been moved on 3 times before because of her abusive behaviour , now she resides in our seniors units .

  27. I am a tenant at a social housing community Brisbane and had applied for a transfer about 5 years ago. Because of my disable son I was placed on high priority yet haven't heard any further contact from housing other than the yearly check of eligibility for the transfer. Ive walked in with letters of recommendation from all my sons therapists several times over the years and I still have had little progress. I would love to work but my sons need my full time care and I can't afford private rent. What is a single mother to do?


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