Elderly residents at a problem-plagued public housing complex where tenants have expressed fears for their lives had to wait almost two weeks for a broken lock to a common stairwell to be replaced.
The ACT government has conceded that damaged doors are an ongoing issue at Condamine Court in Turner.
Residents reported the vandalised lock on February 12 and it was not replaced until February 24.
The lock to the door was damaged in the week after 28-year-old Christopher Stewart Wallace faced court over an alleged assault at the complex.
Police alleged he ran at a resident in the complex's courtyard, grabbed him by the throat and repeatedly punched him in the face. Wallace was not a resident at the complex.
The broken lock also came days after The Canberra Times reported on systemic issues at the complex.
Tenants said the place had become increasingly dangerous over the past year, and was littered with blood, threatening graffiti and used syringes.
One said they genuinely feared somebody could be killed without intervention from authorities.
Residents have reported that damage to common entry doors is a common occurrence at the complex. As well, they said doors have often been propped opened.
A Community Services Directorate spokesman said damage to doors was common at Condamine Court, which the government's maintenance provider, Programmed, responded to.
"Damage to common area doors at this complex is an ongoing issue which Programmed attend to as they are identified," he said.
The vandalised locks were brought up at an ACT government estimates hearing last week. Liberal housing spokesman Mark Parton pressed officials on the locks.
"It was brought to my attention that a number of locks had been removed, specifically the stairwell leading to the aged persons unit was removed around 11/12 February," he said.
"The tenants contacted Programmed maintenance for over a week to raise their concern about that."
Mr Parton's questions were not answered in the hearing. Officials said the question had to be taken on notice, as public housing maintenance falls under Housing Minister Yvette Berry, not Homelessness and Housing Services Minister Rebecca Vassarotti - who was being questioned in the hearing.
This was despite Ms Vassarotti and officials answering questions about issues at Condamine Court in that hearing.
On the same day of the hearing, residents of Condamine Court received a letter that said locks to all foyer doors were due to be replaced on Wednesday.
The Community Services Directorate spokesman said Housing ACT was advised that while the lock was broken other common area doors were able to be secured.
He said the replacement door lock met industry standards and would "be as secure as the old locks".
The spokesman said there were nightly security patrols at Condamine Court.
"In addition to responding to concerns of tenants and replacement of doors, Housing ACT has sourced nightly security patrols to ensure the safety of its most vulnerable tenants," the spokesman said.
"Housing ACT continues to work closely with ACT Policing and tenants in relation to safety concerns at Condamine Court."
But Mr Parton also questioned whether nightly patrols were happening at the complex in estimates.
He referenced a previous article from The Canberra Times, which reported also reported that Housing ACT said there were nightly patrols at Condamine Court.
Mr Parton said he had not received that feedback from residents.
At the estimates hearing, officials did not directly answer questions about Condamine Court, instead their answers were framed in the context of multi-unit public housing properties.
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