Unions take up public housing campaign

Construction unions have announced they will make a submission to the Victorian Coalition government that will call for unused government-owned sites in inner-city Melbourne to be used for public housing.

Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union state secretary John Setka told the Age on April 22 that the proposal would cut the public housing waiting list and provide jobs for unemployed construction workers.

The construction unions are identifying potential sites. Three which have already been identified include the former Gas and Fuel Corporation site at the corner of Smith Street and Alexandra Parade, a large block that houses the Kangan TAFE in Cremorne and land at the back of Richmond Town Hall.

In December last year, 37,000 Victorians were on the waiting list for public housing.

The current state and previous governments have sold off public housing or transferred public housing to housing associations for social housing.

This is problematic because tenants of housing associations do not have their rights protected like public housing tenants, and the owners often act like private landlords. housing associations can sell off the housing after 10 years.

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