Presentation on theme: "Antisocial Behaviour Management and Housing"— Presentation transcript:
1 Antisocial Behaviour Management and Housing Simon Y. YauDepartment of Public and Social AdministrationCity University of Hong KongPublic The University of Adelaide15 February 2012
2 Outline of the Presentation Overview of antisocial behaviour and its controldefinitions, classifications and causescontrol or mitigation measuresControl of ASB in public housing in Hong Kongintroduction of the Marking Schemedoes the Marking Scheme work?flaws or social impacts of the marking schemeASB in Hong Kong’s private housinginsignificant or ignored?Future directions for ASB research and policy-making
3 Part A Overview of Antisocial Behaviour and its Control in Housing
4 Definitions of “Antisocial Behaviour” Antisocial behaviour (ASB) is behaviour that opposes society's norms and accepted standards of behaviour.include criminal acts and less serious nuisance such as dumping rubbish (Chartered Institute of Housing, 1995: 3)“…the problem is a direct result of behaviour by one household or individuals in an area which threatens the physical or mental health, safety or security of other households and individuals.” (Scottish Affairs Committee, 1996)ASB is “behaviour that caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as the perpetrator”. (1998 Crime and Disorder Act)
5 Definitions of “Antisocial Behaviour” (cont’d) Social Exclusion UnitHome Office White PaperHome Office’s One Day CountNoiseConflicts (including harassment and domestic violence)Litter and rubbish dumpingGraffiti and vandalismUncontrolled petsUsing and selling drugsNuisance from vehiclesUnkempt gardensHarassment and intimidating behaviourBehaviour that creates alarm or fearNoisy neighboursDrunken and abusive behaviourVandalism, graffiti and other deliberate damage to propertyDumping rubbish or litterLitter / rubbishCriminal damage / vandalismVehicle related nuisanceNuisance behaviourIntimidation / harassmentRowdy behaviourAbandoned vehiclesStreet drinking and begging
6 Definitions of “Antisocial Behaviour” (cont’d) ASB is a confusing termnever straight-forward to have an precise definitiondifferent parties (e.g. residents, politicians and housing managers) use the term for their own purposeASB is also named asproblem of “disruptive tenants or residents” in Australia“quality-of-life crime” or problem in the US“misdeed” in Hong Kongincivilities, social disorder, neighbourhood nuisances …… etc.ASB takes different forms with varying levels of intensityThere is no universally applicable definition of ASBSituational definition – some look at the issue in a larger context while some in a smaller context
7 ASB as a Spectrum Category of Behaviour Actual Behaviour Extreme behaviourDrug dealing, unprovoked assault, serious harassment, racial harassmentSerious anti-social behaviourThreatening abuse, serious disturbance, vandalism, damage to propertyOther nuisance caseFamily disputes affecting others, dog control, behaviour of children(Source: Chartered Institute of Housing, 1996: 4)Type of problemNature of ProblemNeighbourDisputes from nuisance (e.g. noise)NeighbourhoodIncivilities within public spaces (e.g. rubbish)CrimeAll forms of criminal activities(Source: Scott & Parkey, 1998: 329)
8 ASB Classes under Three-Strike Policy in WA Dangerous BehaviourSerious BehaviourMinor BehaviourAssault and acts of violence toward neighboursArsonManufacture of drugs StalkingExtensive, deliberate damage to property other than the rented premisesAggressive and threatening actsAbusive language directed at neighboursVandalism to neighbour’s propertiesDrunken behaviour which impacts on other residentsCar burnoutsDangerous drivingHoon behaviourNuisance from childrenExcessive noiseProperty condition that impacts on neighboursUnwanted entry into neighbouring propertiesDomestic disputes which cause disturbance to neighbours
9 Perceived Causes of ASB in the UK Which one or two of these do you think are the main causes of ASB by youth today?%Parents not bringing up their children appropriately53Drug and alcohol abuse49Lack of discipline in schools28Not enough for teenagers to do27Peer pressure16Break-up of marriages14Others1Mental disorder not countedConcentrated in social housing(Source: Ipsos Mori, 2006) N = 2,048
10 Perceived Causes of ASB in Hong Kong Do you think that the following cause the neighbourhood problems in public housing?Mean scorePoor parenting3.85Poor discipline at school3.83Ineffective policing3.76Boredom3.51Mental illness or disorder3.40Unemployment3.24Alcohol or drugs2.51Mental disorder not countedConcentrated in social housing(Source: Yau, 2011) N = 339
11 Common Measures to Control ASB in Housing Legal measuresASB orders or injunction ordersparenting ordersTenancy measureslease termination or non-renewal of leasesintroductory, probationary or fixed-term tenanciesacceptable behaviour contract or agreementMediating or intervention measuresmediation or neighbourhood wardensclose monitoring or intervention unit (e.g. in WA)multi-agency approachesmost common reason for the eviction is rent arrear or non-payment of rentNot effective - cannot make sure that ASB will not be committed after the probationary period
12 Common Measures to Control ASB in Housing (cont’d) Tenant incentive schemespaint kits or garden subsidies (e.g. in NT and WA)priority response to repair order or rental concessionrecognition and rewards scheme (in SA)??
13 Part B Control of ASB in Public Housing in Hong Kong
14 Control of Anti-social Behaviour in Hong Kong ASB is a term never used by the Hong Kong GovernmentPiece-meal controls over different ASB in the city:ASBControlCreating noise nuisanceNoise Control OrdinanceDeliberate litteringFixed Penalty (Public Cleanliness Offences) OrdinanceObjects dropped from heightSummary Offences OrdinanceDrunkennessGraffiti and vandalism
15 Opportunistic Start of ASB Control in Housing As an aftermath of the SARS outbreak in 2003Team Clean set up on 5 May 2003stringent enforcement of spitting and littering in public areasraising fixed penalty for spitting and littering from $600 to $1,500inspection of external drainage pipes in all residential buildingsclean-up of hygiene blackspotsterminating the leases of and evicting public housing tenants who repeatedly breach the health codeThe Subsidized Housing Committee of the Housing Authority (HA) endorsed at its meeting on 29 May 2003to strengthen action through the introduction of a marking scheme for tenancy enforcement in public housing
16 Introduction of the Marking Scheme Marking Scheme for Tenancy Enforcementimplemented since 1 August 2003 by the Housing Departmentin public rental housing (PRH) and interim housing (IH)renamed to the Marking Scheme for Estate Management Enforcement in Public Housing Estates on 18 October 2006 to signify its wider use for more effective estate managementStated objectives of the marking schemeto promote environmental hygiene and management of public housing estatesto build up a sustained healthy and pleasant living environment
17 Operation of the Marking Scheme Leasing conditionspublic housing tenants should keep the leased premises and the estate environment clean and hygienictenants should not interfere life enjoyment of other tenantsMarking Scheme for Tenancy Enforcementtenancy terminated when 16 points recorded within 2 yearsif tenancy is terminated, the households will be barred from applying for PRH through General Waiting List for two years5 pts5 pts5 pts10 ptsHousehold accumulated 10 points: receive a warning letter from the HDDetail the points allotted and remind the tenant of the possible consequence if more points are allotted.Copied to all adult members of the householdHD staff will meet the tenant and the person(s) who committed the misdeeds16 valid points accrued: tenancy will be liable to termination by the service of Notice-to-Quit (NTQ)required to vacate the public housing flatoffer of IH in the New Territoriesapplications for PRH through General Waiting List: banned for two yearswill not offer a flat of better quality1 Jan 055 Jan 0617 Aug 061 Jan 07
18 Operation of the Marking Scheme (cont’d) Other effect on the householdany household carrying valid penalty points to be barred from applying for alternative accommodation, better/larger or otherwise, through external or internal transfer(except those affected by government’s relocation actions)As at 31 January 2012, there were 28 misdeed itemsgrouped under Category A, B, C or DCategory A minor misdeeds carrying 3 pointsCategories B and C - more serious ones carrying 5 and points respectivelyCategory D - the most serious one carrying 15 points
19 Misdeeds (with prior warning before point allotment) Misdeeds where warnings will be given before allotment of pointsPoints1.Drying clothes in public areas (except in areas designated by the HD)32.Utilizing laundry pole-holders for drying floor mop3.Putting dripping flower pots or dripping laundry on balconies4.Dripping oil from exhaust fan5.Obstructing corridors or stairs with sundry items rendering cleansing difficult56.Causing mosquito breeding by accumulating stagnant water7.Causing noise nuisance8.Water dripping from air-conditioner9.Denying the entry of HD staff for repairs which are the responsibility of the HD710.Refusing to repair leaking pipes or sanitary fittings for which the tenant is responsible11.Damaging sewage pipes causing leakage to the flat below12.Accumulating a large quantity of refuse or waste inside leased premises, creating offensive smell and hygienic nuisance
20 Misdeeds (no prior warning before point allotment) Misdeeds where points will be allotted immediatelyPoints1.Littering52.Disposing of domestic refuse indiscriminately, such as improper disposal in lift lobbies or inside bins without cover3.Keeping animal, bird or livestock inside leased premises without prior written consent of the Landlord4.Allowing animal and livestock under charge to foul public places with faeces5.Boiling wax in public areas6.Smoking or carrying a lighted cigarette in estate common area7.Illegal gambling in public places8.Throwing objects from heights that jeopardize environmental hygiene7
21 Misdeeds (no prior warning before point allotment) Misdeeds where points will be allotted immediatelyPoints9.Spitting in public areas710.Urinating and defecating in public places11Dumping or disposing of decoration debris indiscriminately at refuse collection points, within building or in other public areas12.Using leased premises as food factory or storage13.Illegal hawking of cooked food14.Damaging or stealing Housing Authority's property15.Using leased premises for illegal purpose16.Throwing objects from height that may cause danger or personal injury15
22 Figures about the Marking Scheme (up to Dec 2011) 17,990 allotments of penalty pointsinvolving 16,410 households (2.3% of public housing households)1,030 households accrued 10 points or moreMost frequently committed misdeedssmoking in estate common area (6,160 cases)littering (5,720 cases)46 households receiving 16 or more points2 surrendering their PRH flats voluntarily34 Notices-to-quit (NTQs) issuedwith 10 cases withdrawn on special grounds(Source: Hong Kong Housing Authority)
23 Is the Marking Scheme Effective? Improvement inStrongly AgreeAgreeNeutralDisagreeStrongly disagreeEnvironmental cleanliness18.0%39.8%30.7%7.7%3.8%Quietness2.9%30.1%40.1%23.0%Conditions of facilities4.4%20.1%41.9%26.0%Personal safety and security6.2%24.2%41.6%23.9%4.1%Overall quality of the living environment7.4%39.2%18.3%5.0%(Source: Yau, 2012) N = 339
24 Flaws and Social Impacts (1) Household as a subject unit of the marking schemeone of the members commits wrongdoings and other members of the family are punished as welli.e., collateral punishment or sanction by associationcontradicting with the principle of welfare contractualism40.4% of the respondents (in Yau, 2012) regarded household-based punishment unfair59.6% thought that family harmony has been undermined because of the marking scheme (due to “culture of blame”)Think Point:Should a resident be responsible for the activities of his or her family member in public housing?
25 Flaws and Social Impacts (2) Tenure-biased or selective enforcement against ASBpublic rental housing tenants being the only subject46.9% of the respondents (in Yau, 2012) opined that the marking scheme has stereotyped public housing tenants as problematic residentsEnforcement against ASB being location-specificpenalty points will be allotted only if the misdeed is committed in the housing estate where the perpetrator is livingThink Point:If the marking scheme aims to rectify bad habits of the residents, why bother discriminating the enforcement?
26 Flaws and Social Impacts (3) Mutual surveillance among neighbours54.9% perceived a greater tension among residents after the implementation of the schemeEviction helps victims but not perpetratorsfostering a culture of “not in my backyard” (NIMBY)beyond the capacity of the HKHA to change behaviour (e.g. creating nuisance due to mental illness)35.7% of the respondents (in Yau, 2012) worried that someone could abuse the marking scheme to pick on them social exclusion of minority or disadvantaged groups50.7% became more afraid of being evicted because of weakened tenure security
27 Flaws and Social Impacts (4) No prior comprehensive public or tenant consultationconsulting Estate Management Advisory Committee only34.5% thought that they had not been well consulted before the implementation of the marking schemeDo all the items under the marking scheme are socially undesirable?e.g. pet guardianship at home?misdeeds that are not necessary to be included (Yau, 2012)obstructing corridors or stairs with sundry itemskeeping animal inside leased premises without consentwater dripping from air-conditioner
28 Flaws and Social Impacts (5) Whose responsibility in case of design flaw?drying clothes in public areas no balcony or utility platformdamaging sewage pipes causing leakage to the flat below drain stack running in the flat (not on the external wall)Waste stack
29 Part C ASB in Hong Kong’s Private Housing (an ongoing study)
32 Perceived Seriousness of ASB Private Housing (n=287)Public Housing (n=339)Noise nuisances3.72Litter3.623.68Illegal gambling3.48Pipe leakage or seepage3.573.46Abusive use of communal space or facilities3.53Objects thrown from height3.41Uncontrolled dogs3.40Vandalism or graffiti3.28Passive smoking3.31Illegal dealings3.21Waste accumulation3.183.16(Sources: Yau, 2012; an ongoing study)
33 Perceived Causes of ASB Private Housing (n=287)Public Housing (n=339)Ineffective policy or management3.92Poor parenting3.853.78Poor discipline at school3.83Mental illness or disorder3.633.763.58Boredom3.513.313.40Unemployment2.753.24Alcohol or drugs2.382.51(Sources: Yau, 2011; an ongoing study)
34 Determinants of intolerance with ASB Private Housing (n=287)Public Housing (n=339)MaleFemaleMiddle age (31-50 years old)YoungerBetter-educatedMiddle-incomeno effectShorter length of residenceDissatisfied with housing qualitySmall family sizeLocally born or grew upLiving in high-rise housingnot investigated(Sources: Yau, 2011; an ongoing study)
35 Unhelpful Housing Management Agents For those who have lodged complaints against ASB to the property management company or residents association67% opined that the agent could help them to solve the nuisance that affect many owners in the building22% opined that the agent could help them to solve the nuisance that affect the complainant onlyPerpetratorManagingResidents Association / Property ManagerElecting or AppointingComplainant
36 Control of ASB in Private Housing Powerful sanction e.g. eviction considered in few cases onlye.g. rental housing estate solely owned by one single landlordowner-occupiers under no threat of evictionIn most private multi-owned housing, ASB control relies onenforcement of deed of mutual covenant or house rulesspecific ordinances e.g. Noise Control Ordinancestatutory injunction ordertort law (claiming for damages only)Think Point:Is private property right always a hurdle for ASB control in private housing? What else can we do in private housing?
37 Part D Future Directions for ASB Research and Policy-Making
38 A New Perspective into ASB Research ? Anatomy of social problems and associated policiessocial constructionism/constructivism, path dependency … etc.how about using new institutional economics?Common assumptions of neoclassical theoriesproperty rights being clearly definedcost of enforcement (e.g. court proceedings) being negligibleTransaction costs incurred in different stages of controlcontract writing – defining the rights and ASBbargaining – reaching acceptable agreementpolicing – checking for ASBenforcement – punishing perpetrator
39 Example 1: Noise Nuisances Why noise nuisances are so difficult to deal with?right to silence? or right to make sounds?what is or constitutes a noise?barking dog? crying baby?standard of silence? 45dB? 60dB?costs of policing and enforcement disproportionately highnoises can be discontinuous and spontaneoushow can you take the evidence of the nuisance?High contracting, policing and enforcement costs prevalence of the noise problem
40 Example 2: Good Resident Agreement What is a good resident?what are acts that a good resident should not do?can all these acts listed in the agreement exhaustively?is there a universal agreement applicable to all communities?Definition of ASB can be community-specifice.g. playing firecrackersconsidered a dangerous and annoying act in high-rise housingwelcomed by villagers because it is a traditional customHow to be agreed by a large group of people?
41 Reducing Transaction Costs in ASB Control New South WalesMaintaining a pleasant and comfortable living environmenta matter of collectivismproper behaviour of one household is not enough !Cooperation is more likelyif there is strong social norm, community cohesiveness, place attachment, ... etc.ethical or norm-oriented behaviour reducing transaction costsCommunity- or neighbourliness-building strategiescommunity-building projects in public housing in Hong KongGood Neighbour Award in Singaporeany examples in Australia ?
42 An old Chinese saying: “ 遠 親 不 如 近 鄰 ” Good neighbours are more helpful than distant relatives. -- Our neighbours can offer timely help when we are in need while distant relatives may not be able to offer immediate assistance.
43 ReferencesChartered Institute of Housing (1995) Housing and Crime, How Well Are We Managing, Edinburgh: Chartered Institute of Housing.Chartered Institute of Housing (1996) Housing and Anti-social Behaviour, Coventry: Chartered Institute of Housing.Ipsos MORI (2006) Public attitudes to parenting, mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/poll.aspx?oItemId=374.Scott, S. & Parkey, H. (1998) “Myths and reality: anti-social behaviour in Scotland”, Housing Studies, 13(3):Scottish Government Social Research (2007) Use of anti-social behaviour orders in Scotland, pdf.Yau, Y. (2011) “Ruling out trouble: unacceptable behaviour and its control in Hong Kong’s public housing”, Habitat International, 36(1):Yau, Y. (2012) “Social impacts of the marking scheme in public housing in Hong Kong”, Social Indicators Research, forthcoming.
44 Thank You ! For comments and questions, please me at