Housing action group City is Ours organised a protest outside housing minister Richard Wynne’s office on November 12, to highlight Melboune’s growing housing crisis.
City is Ours has also recently organised a public meeting and a protest against rooming house evictions outside Moreland Council’s offices.
Speaking on behalf of the Homeless Front, Richard Tate told the November 12 rally: “Most people are only three pays away from homelessness. [you] can’t live a normal life on the streets. The housing crisis is a national emergency. The army should be deployed to build houses for the homeless.”
Aboriginal activist Sharon Firebrace said it was shameful that Aboriginal people had a roof over their head only after being sent to prison.
The frustration among housing activists and housing service workers was voiced a housing worker from Flatout, who said: “When you work all day every day providing services, you need your voices to be heard. Get the gag off.”
She was referring to the state and federal governments’ gag on housing services speaking out against government policy. Flatout helps people who have just left prison. The “biggest driver of prisons is homelessness”, she said.
Socialist Party candidate for Richmond, Steve Jolly, is standing against Wynne. Jolly called for an end to the sell-off of public housing, the scrapping of negative gearing and a rent cap. He also called on the Greens not to support a Coalition government.
“I want you to vote for me on November 27, but that’s not enough”, he said. “We need a mass movement around issues like housing.”
For more information, visit http://melbournecio.org/ .