February 27, 2019 07:08:25
A mother and her son with special needs have been moved into social housing in Broome “not fit for a dog to live in”, with disturbing bloodstained walls and both a syringe and knife in the backyard.
Andrea Scott moved to Broome in February with her son, Luis, who suffers from schizophrenia and other mental health issues.
She said that what she found when she arrived at her new home shocked her.
“The condition was disgusting, it was absolute filth. I’ve never been in such a disgusting house,” she said.
WARNING: Some people may find the following images confronting.
The single mother said she found piles of rubbish in the backyard, a syringe and knife laying exposed in the dirt, profane graffiti scratched into the walls, and the house uncleaned.
“When I saw the blood on those walls I nearly died,” she said.
“My brother started raking the rubbish away from the fence and that’s when the syringe was exposed.”
She said her brother then received two electric shocks when he tried to change a light.
Ms Scott said she was hoping for a quiet property where her son could feel safe.
“My son’s not right. He’s got special needs. He’s schizophrenic also, and my son needs to be in a quiet safe environment,” Ms Scott said.
Relocated for son’s medical treatment
Ms Scott moved to Broome to access medical treatment not available for her son in Karratha.
“I had to move here because every time my son has a turn they fly him to Broome,” she said.
“In Karratha, even though we’ve got a new hospital, they haven’t got the facilities for my son. They haven’t got a mental health [unit] where we can put him.
“I moved up here for my son to have the best quality of life possible.”
Ms Scott sent photos of the house to Western Australia’s Department of Communities Broome office detailing the conditions, but did not receive a response.
She said several visits to the office left her feeling like staff were not taking her case seriously.
“I’ve gone in there several times and it’s like ‘no one’s available at the moment’ or ‘she’s not in’,” Ms Scott said.
When she asked about a transfer, Ms Scott claims a staff member said that she was asking “a bit much”.
House not cleaned
In a written statement, the Department said the property was inspected and cleaned in December 2018, weeks before Ms Scott moved in.
“Maintenance work was undertaken in December 2018 and the property was left in a clean condition,” a spokesperson said.
But Ms Scott said the house was not clean when she arrived.
“They reckon that they have done a vacant clean. This house has not had a vacant clean,” she said.
It is unclear how the property’s condition deteriorated between the last inspection and Ms Scott arriving in February.
Still waiting for house to be fixed
Ms Scott has now been living in the house for more than two weeks.
She is still waiting for maintenance and repairs to be completed, including cleaning the stains off the walls, replacing a broken oven, installing a toilet seat, and removing rubbish from the backyard.
She said she is worried about her son’s safety in the house and wants to be relocated.
“I don’t want Luis to be in the backyard and step on a syringe,” she said.
“I just want to be put in a decent home, something that’s got security, something that’s clean.
“We deserve to have something nice. I’m not asking for a palace.”
The Department spokesperson said it is in contact with Ms Scott to address her concerns.
February 27, 2019 06:30:43