Cleaning Up Hoarders by the Government May Bring Up Mental Health Issues

Mental Health Issues

The ACT Legislative Assembly has introduced a new proposal under the private member’s bill in Australia. As per the new proposal the government will intervene directly to solve Canberra’s hoarding homes problems and increasing issues arising from it.

In its latest announcement the government stated that house hoarding is becoming a big problem in certain identified neighborhoods in Canberra. It is causing health concerns, and tormenting neighbors with squalid living, becoming a menace to physical and mental health. The government proposed to issue notices for immediate cleaning to these houses and if not acted upon would personally intervene with 30- 60% penalties borne by the owners.

“There are several blocks of land in Canberra that are seriously rat-infested and have come to a point where they’re not safe for either the owner or the neighbors. At the moment there’s virtually no enforcement,” Canberra Liberals Leader Alistair Coe said.

Mental health groups, however, are vary of this move and say this may cause, shame and dismay to the owners and result in repeated instances or complete withdrawal. “A level of intervention from government is certainly acceptable, but it needs to be matched by good community-based support services that actually help address the real problem behind this behavior,” Simon Viereck from the Mental Health Community Coalition said.

Others have also raised worried over the fine to be imposed if not complied. A government spokesperson released a statement, saying that work will be done with discernment and keeping all sides in mind. “We are cautious about the introduction of penalties that can be used as a blunt tool against the most vulnerable in our society. Every situation is different and the Government response varies based on site safety, community interest, mental health issues and circumstance,” he said.