Vulnerable residents at an inner-city public housing complex fear for their lives as they say the place has become littered with blood, used syringes, squatters and threatening graffiti over the past year.
A tenant at Condamine Court in Turner told The Canberra Times they genuinely feared somebody could be killed without intervention from authorities.
Tenants have detailed a series of alleged violent incidents at the complex within the last year.
Most recently, police alleged 28-year-old Christopher Stewart Wallace tried to kick in the door of a unit at the complex over several hours last Sunday.
They alleged he ran at a resident in the complex's courtyard, grabbed him by the throat, repeatedly punched him in the face, and told him: "Jackie Chan, I will kill you." Wallace was not a resident at Condamine Court.
Diary entries over the past six months from a tenant show almost daily instances of verbal abuse, along with instances of physical violence.
An entry on one day reported a series of separate verbal and physical incidents over a period of seven hours.
There were also complaints about a lack of basic maintenance.
Allegations have also been corroborated by ACT Shelter. In a report, the advocacy organisation described damage to the complex and many "environmental health risks".
The report said common doors and windows were broken at Condamine Court, cars were damaged, graffiti threatened that "snitches get stitches", and one tenant would randomly scream and tells other to "get f---ed".
As well, threats had been made to tenants who had called police to incidents at the complex.
Photos seen by The Canberra Times appeared to show blood stains in common areas. Other photos included a discarded syringe and a series of broken windows.
It is understood there has been a series of police raids at the complex over the past year.
An ACT Policing spokesman, in response to questions about Condamine Court, said that, overall, the territory and the inner-north remained a safe place to live - "however we understand that victims of crime can be impacted when an incident occurs".
The spokesman said while it was often thought social housing "equals more crime", that was not correct.
"There is social housing in every suburb in the ACT, and there is also crime in every suburb," the spokesman said.
"The mix of home ownership and/or tenancy in a suburb makes little difference to crime rates."
A relative of one Condamine Court resident told The Canberra Times tenants were often too afraid to report incidents that happened there to police.
Housing ACT and government ministers have been made aware of problems at Condamine Court over the past year from tenants, community organisations and concerned relatives who have implored for action to protect the safety of tenants.
Questions to the territory's housing minister Yvette Berry about this were redirected to the new housing services minister Rebecca Vassarotti.
She did not directly address Condamine Court in her response but said she wanted to meet with tenants at various multi-unit complexes over coming terms.
"There are a number of challenges in multi-unit complexes that we are aware of and together we actively engage with tenants to ensure their voices are heard and appropriate action is taken," Ms Vassarotti said.
A spokeswoman for Housing ACT said the body could not comment on criminal matters as it was in ACT Policing's jurisdiction. The spokeswoman also said they could not comment on individual matters related to public housing.
But the spokeswoman said Housing ACT had nightly security patrols at Condamine Court. She said this was part of a program that had been created due to reports of anti-social behaviour across four inner-city public housing complexes.
"During 2019 and 2020, Housing ACT ran a six-month pilot in response to reports of anti-social behaviour across four public housing complexes in the city," she said.
"The aim of the pilot was to provide greater support and improve liveability in Housing ACT multi-unit properties.
"Following the pilot, on 1 July 2020 Housing ACT introduced the 'Connecting Communities' strategy across the sites, including Condamine Court.
"The aim of the strategy is to reduce anti-social behaviour and better integrate the management of individual tenancies in the context of the surrounding community."
As well, Housing ACT said it had planned to upgrade common area doors in March that were "sturdier". They said this had been delayed due to supply issues.
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