Monday, August 10, 2009
A BISHOP and his wife who campaign for the homeless are being called before a tribunal for allegedly making their own tenants live in housing the tenants describe as a "slum".
The Anglican Bishop of South Sydney Robert Forsyth and his wife Margaret are to go before the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribuna, The Daily Telegraph reports.
Conciliation with their tenants - who argue they had to live in squalor for six months - failed yesterday.
The tenants gave permission for six weeks of renovations that lasted six months.
"It was like living on the set of Slumdog Millionaire," tenant Rebecca Whittington, 24, said.
"We trusted that it would only be three to six weeks. It's been six months of trauma.
"The property was left in a dangerous state. We were good tenants, they came in and had total disregard for us."
Bishop Forsyth called the case a "small problem" but said he cared for his tenants.
"We are bewildered, it's a tribunal, it's meant to solve small problems," he said. "It's still before the tribunal and that is where it should be dealt with."
He distanced himself from the house, which he and his wife co-own with another couple, Adelaide-based Paul and Susan Harrington.
"I have nothing to do with the house, and my position has nothing to do with it."