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We were doing all right: evicted family
The West Australian

A family who claim they were unfairly evicted from a taxpayer-funded property in Wilson have denied the damage to their former home will cost $50,000 to repair and clean-up.

The Department of Housing yesterday released pictures of the Abbot Way property, which was occupied by Athol Michael and Robyn Stratton and several of their nine children between October 2011 and December last year.

$11.4m cost to fix homes

Their tenancy was not renewed after they allegedly caused $50,000 damage, accrued $6510 in debt and received two strikes under the Government's three-strikes policy for disruptive behaviour. They already owed more than $27,000 for previous tenancies and rent.

The couple has had 10 public housing tenancies since 1989. The tenancies were subject to issues relating to arrears, poor property standards, overcrowding and disruptive behaviour.

A department spokesman said tenders for repairs to the property were all above $50,000.

The couple and their children have been living in a tent outside Parliament since Tuesday in protest and want more support for Aboriginal families in crisis to help them stay in public housing.

"We have not been ideal tenants in the past . . . but this time we were doing all right," Ms Stratton said. "Living in a tent has taken our family lifestyle and independence and left us with nothing but depression and fear for the future."

On Tuesday Labor MP Peter Tinley told Parliament the three-strikes policy was being used without compassion and without the resources required to deliver the best possible outcome.

Housing Minister Bill Marmion told Parliament yesterday most tenants looked after their properties but unfortunately one per cent did not and a line had to be drawn. Daydawn Advocacy Service director Mary McComish said it was not fair to compare average tenants to poor families in crisis.

Premier Colin Barnett said public housing was not a continual entitlement or a right and a tenant's behaviour had to be "pretty poor" to be evicted.