Attila the Pun
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
A less than ideal example

The Herald-Sun's latest campaign is about public housing or lack thereof. They had previously revealed that families on as much as $75,000 a year are living in public housing, and that prisoners can pay a nominal rent of $15 a week to have a house held for them for up to year.

Ignoring the sensationalist spin that the Hun puts on many things, there are certainly valid issues being discussed.

However, their choice of example of the current 'crisis' is less than ideal in my opinion. Meet the Norton family - currently living in a bus, having previously lived in a tent, after having previously being evicted from the house they were squatting in.

How many people in this family? - 6. - Mum, Jayde, 11, Tayla, 7, Cher, 6, Clayton, 5, and Boe, 3.

Here's an idea Ms Norton - if you have an unstable domestic environment, and no means to support your family - stop having kids. Will that solve your problem? No, but it will certainly help.

The Victorian Office of Housing said that they have been offered accommodation twice, but had refused to take up the places.

Ms Norton claims both houses were given to other tenants before she could move in because they were deemed more in need.

Being a government agency, there is bugger all that the Office of Housing is allowed to do that doesnt leave a paper trail a mile long. Misleading a newspaper on something like that would be a very stupid idea, as there would be no paperwork to back it up.

Therefore I am much more inclined to believe the Office of Housing on that one.

If it is true that she refused to take up accomodation that was offered, it provides an interesting example of how a newspaper decides to spin a story.

The way they have chosen this time is to go with the 'unfortunate family living in a tent' angle. However, they could have just as easily chosen 'House snob mother makes family live in squalor by refusing accommodation'.

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