On this World Day of Social Justice, we reflect on how we contribute to this year's theme of 'Closing the Inequalities Gap to Achieve Social Justice' through individual and systemic change.
For those of you who have been following Jack's story since mid-2019, we've got more good news! Jack was brave enough to stand up against his community housing provider (CHP) about a cockroach infestation and unfair rent charges.The positive outcomes stemming from his actions have now been extended to other residents in his building!
A Pest-Free Home!
While a VCAT application made in Jack's name was successful in forcing his landlord to remedy the cockroach issue in his room, his CHP was also ordered to tackle the problem within the building as a whole and on an ongoing basis. This means Jack and his co-residents can finally feel confident that their homes will stay cockroach-free!
'This is the first time I've had anything to do with VCAT. I [was] very nervous about it actually, I'm not a big complainer... but having cockroaches on your bed... that's something to complain about.' - Jack
Jack didn't just go to VCAT once - after we confirmed his suspicions about being charged unfair rent, he was willing to go a second time.
While orders to charge a fair rent amount only applied to Jack, negotiations headed by IMCL led to his CHP agreeing to apply the changes to all other residents in his building.
Jack's cases weren't just a win for him; they were a win for all residents in his building and have set an example that we can use to advocate for change across the entire community housing sector.
This is what makes community lawyering so different. Alongside our clients, we are part of the same local community and in our work we strive to make our locality a fair and equal place for everyone.
You can help people like Jack so that everyone has the same opportunities for a good quality life by donating here