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Government Sells Physically & Mentally Disabled Woman's House Against Her Will Leaving Her Homeless

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posted on May, 18 2011 @ 01:13 PM
Lismore, Australia.
A physically & mentally disabled woman who owed $16000 in rates, has had the local council induce a forced sale of her house against her wishes. This leaves her effectively homeless.
She stopped paying rates when the council failed to fix blocked drains that caused flooding on her property when it rained, which led to the rotting of the foundations of her house.
She had started paying the money off, but the council sold it anyway.
The house was sold for the lowest price paid for a house in that region for more than a year.
Other than the rates no money was owed on the house.

Yes I know she owed money, but this just doesn't seem right. She was on a disabled pension & went without for years to pay a morgage & the government leaves her homeless.
The money she get in change will not buy another house as she was already living in the cheaper part of town,

Even when the bank bastards are finally paid off the government bastards steal your dream.

Just goes to show you never trully own your own home.

CHRISTINE Anderson is physically disabled and mentally debilitated by clinical depression and now, thanks to the Lismore City Council, she’s also homeless.

After weeks of negotiation and pleas for compassion, the council on Saturday sold Ms Anderson’s home of more than 20 years to satisfy an unpaid rates bill.

Council general manager Paul O’Sullivan yesterday defended the decision, saying it followed years of effort by the council to get Ms Anderson on to a payment plan.

The sale of the house at an auction at the Lismore City Hall for $175,000 – the lowest price for a house in South Lismore for more than a year – came despite the fact Ms Anderson had begun trying to repay the debt.

She had agreed to a direct debit plan – the first payment came out only days before the auction – and despite the fact the council had been told she would have been able clear the debt within two months.

The decision to sell the house also came despite medical advice, seen by The Northern Star, warning taking Ms Anderson’s home would cause “severe” damage to her already fragile mental state.

It followed more than a month of intense negotiations between the council and family friend David Slatter, who stepped in after learning of Ms Anderson’s situation about five weeks ago.

Mr Slatter said Ms Anderson’s mental illness meant she was unable to face the problem when the council told her in October last year it would sell the house over a $16,000 rates bill.

The rates debt dates back years – Mr O’Sullivan said it went back to 2000 – and started with a refusal to pay over the council’s failure to fix roadside drains that flooded the property when it rained and eventually ruined the home’s foundations (the council has never been asked, or offered, to compensate Ms Anderson for the damage the blocked drains caused her home).

Ultimately the rates bill grew out of control. Mr Slatter said the actual debt was about $14,000, but blew out to more than $16,000 after adding interest and other charges.

Mr Slatter accused the council of pursuing Ms Anderson over the rates debt without informing her of her rights or, despite knowing she was in difficulty, taking gen-uine steps to help her.

Mr O’Sullivan said the council had spent years trying to sort out Ms Anderson’s rates. It repeatedly tried to get her on payment plans and when moves began to sell her house it sent around a council staff member to talk to her about the problem face-to-face.

Mr O’Sullivan said the staff member was rebuffed by Ms Anderson, who was too ill to discuss it.

When it was suggested that Ms Anderson’s mental illness meant she was unable to communicate with council staff and that moves to clear the debt really only dated back a few weeks to Mr Slatter’s involvement, Mr O’Sullivan said the council had no choice in the matter.

Without the debt having been paid or clear evidence it would be paid, the council had to proceed with the sale.

A sobbing Ms Anderson said she was getting an early pay-out of her superannuation that would have covered the debt and let her fix up the house.

Mr Slatter said he told the council they needed “a month or two” to get the money.

Mr O’Sullivan said Ms Anderson had made that promise before and the money had never appeared.

Mr Slatter had been told Ms Anderson would need to provide a letter from the super fund saying it would release the money.

“If they had a letter from the super fund saying ‘yes, we can do this and it will take a couple of months’ ... , that would have been fine,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

Mr O’Sullivan said the council had sold the house at market value and the money, outside of what was owed for rates, would go to Ms Anderson. However, the money would not be enough for a new home. Ms Anderson said she did not know who bought the house. She doesn’t know how long she has before she has to leave and she doesn’t know where she will go when she does.

It is a bitter irony.

Ms Anderson has lost her home after struggling for years to clear her mortgage while receiving only the disability support pension.

By making heavy sacrifices, often going without meals, Ms Anderson about five years ago paid off the mortgage, gaining what she thought was the security of owning her home outright. Now it’s gone.

edit on 18-5-2011 by acrux because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 18 2011 @ 01:20 PM
If the city did not fulfill its obligations to maintain infrastructure, why should she have to pay the rates? Now the city has a disabled homeless person they will have to look out for. Brilliant.

posted on May, 18 2011 @ 01:28 PM
reply to post by InvisibleAlbatross
The thing is she didn't demand they pay for her house foundations to be fixed.

Personally I think they should have called it even because the houses in South Lismore are raised houses, (double story) restumping it would easily cost more than $16000.

Even when your house is payed off you are still paying for it.

posted on May, 18 2011 @ 02:00 PM
reply to post by acrux

Lets hope someone with a heart will take her in.
Keep the faith.

posted on May, 18 2011 @ 08:15 PM
The council would not have been able to legally sell the house without a court order, surely?

posted on May, 18 2011 @ 10:03 PM
reply to post by teapot
Sorry stort doesn't say.

posted on May, 18 2011 @ 10:08 PM
reply to post by acrux

And I thought all the heartless bastards were in America. Whew! Good to know we aren't the only place where aholes exist!!! Seriously though, how can these people sleep at night? Honestly. If I had a million dollars I'd buy her a house and get her home health care aides or whatever you call them there in Oz.

posted on May, 18 2011 @ 10:22 PM
It seems to me that she needs to...quickly...take legal action against the City for this action. Perhaps an appeal of whatever court order would have given the City the authorization to proceed to a sale.

Failing that, or in addition to that, she ought to sue the City for damages to her home due to their negligence in not properly repairing their system...the root cause of the dispute. The subsequent damage to her foundation would have led to a lower selling price certainly - and she can claim money damages for this. With these additional funds, plus perhaps punitive damages, she should be able to find a suitable home to move to.

Hopefully she can find a local lawyer who will take her on pro bono.

The city claims that it had "no choice", but obviously they had other options in this case...including allowing an arbitrator to work out a mutually satisfactory solution.

Sad situation...

posted on May, 18 2011 @ 10:44 PM
Since her bill was reduced to $16,000, it seems to me the city owes her $159,000. Perhaps she could put that toward a condo.
edit on 18-5-2011 by InvisibleAlbatross because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 18 2011 @ 10:52 PM
reply to post by InvisibleAlbatross
She already in the poorer area of town. The area of Lismore is a tourist & retirement area of NSW. Prices are very usually start well above what she has. Rents are very high as well so that would also eat away from her amount if she has to live rental while trying to save more.

Surely more could have been done to help her as she was at least less of a purdon on the system while she had her own house.

Just shows government really don't care about the people, especially the disabled/disadvantaged people.

posted on May, 18 2011 @ 11:01 PM
Clearly, the people that did this have not seen the movie "Drag Me To Hell."

Poor lady

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