Tuesday, April 08, 2003
Bureaucracy goes mad yet again.
An Australian woman had her rent rebate cut because housing officials mistook her teddy bear for a live-in partner.
The public housing tenant was shocked to get a letter from her housing officer in Victoria, demanding details about Barnaby.
The mix-up happened when housing staff heard an answering machine message that mentioned 'Estelle and Barnaby', and assumed she was living with a man and cheating the system. [...]
Housing officers accused of her of illegal sub-letting, refusing to accept her explanation. The Office of Housing cancelled her rent rebate and increased her weekly rental payments by £44.
She said: "I guess there was a funny side in all this, but all I could feel was the stress."
It wasn't until a tenants' advocacy group intervened that the Office of Housing backed down.