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Grieving teen evicted days after father’s death

Just five days after her father died, 14-year-old Rachael Pazos was kicked out of the Darwin home they had shared by housing commission bosses.

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When the grieving teenager returned to their unit in The Narrows, Rachael found officials from Territory Housing changing the locks and boarding the door.

It’s believed they gave her ten minutes to pack her bags at the home she had lived in for the past four years.

“I only just found out that my dad passed away,” she told the ABC as she sat on a suitcase outside the locked unit.

Clothes still hung on the backyard washing line.

“I’m only 14 and I don’t really need all this stress.”

‘Unreserved apology’

The teenager said the rest of her family lived in Queensland, and she was not in a position to call them for help.

Despite this, it has been reported the Housing Department officials did not phone any support services or government agencies when they evicted the young girl.

Executive director of the Housing Department’s Darwin region, Fiona Chamberlain, said they had been in contact with police.

She made an unreserved apology on Thursday, saying the teenager should never have been thrown out.

Rachael’s father had paid rent on the unit for the next six weeks.

“This is not the way we operate,” Ms Chamberlain said.

Authorities ‘heartless’

“We made a mistake and we apologise to the family. An immediate investigation will take place and this will not happen again.

“There has been serious error of judgment by our staff.”

Country Liberals member for Fong Lim, Dave Tollner, said the actions of the officials were “absolutely outrageous”.

“I just cannot believe that a government department can kick a 14-year-old girl out onto the street with no means to look after herself whatsoever,” he said.

“Do these people have a heart?”

Mr Tollner said all of the family’s possessions were still in the unit when he visited Rachael, who was crying out the front.

Ms Chamberlain said the boarding had been removed and the girl would be allowed to move back in.

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