Joy’s Story

Joy needed legal support when she was asked to pay for an unreasonable amount of debt. 

Joy is an Aboriginal woman who had lived in a public housing property for three years with her young disabled son. She was recently forced to flee this property due to extreme family violence perpetrated against her by an ex-partner.

While living in a women’s refuge, Joy’s support worker tried to re-apply for public housing, but was told Joy would first need to address a $7500 claim for damage that had been lodged against her at VCAT. The housing office that lodged the application against Joy was aware that she had experienced family violence at the property, because Joy had applied for an urgent transfer due to family violence shortly before fleeing.

The OOH was also aware Joy was now residing in a women’s refuge because they had dealt directly with her support worker. Despite this, they proceeded with their claim at VCAT. Joy was assisted through the WHPP, and her Homeless Law lawyer provided the OOH with further evidence of the family violence including a copy of her IVO, refuge support worker’s letter, and further information about Joy’s circumstances.

After on-going negotiations, the claim was withdrawn in full by the OOH.