The systematic running-down of public housing by governments over a few decades is not news. However, in Western Australia the situation has become particularly desperate, writes Sam Wainwright.
Jacob Andrewartha reports on concerns that state funding for new public, as distinct from social, housing has not been included in the Victorian government's housing plan.
More than 100 people attended a rally in defence of public housing at the Walker Street Estate in Northcote on November 11.
The Victorian Labor government has announced a "public housing renewal program" that will involve the demolition of nine public housing estates across Melbourne. The land will be sold to developers who are likely to build high rise towers in place of the current low rise buildings.
Eighty tenants and supporters rallied at the Northcote public housing estate on June 24 to protest plans to evict the tenants and demolish their homes.
Northcote is one of nine public housing estates the Victorian Labor government wants to demolish. It wants to sell the land to private developers who would build high rise units. Some "social housing" would also be built.
Addressing the rally, Aboriginal activist and public housing tenant Viv Malo linked the planned evictions to the history of dispossession of Aboriginal people.
The adage of moving house being the most stressful time of one’s life has been proved at a West Brunswick public housing estate. Resident Lindi told Green Left Weekly: “One hundred residents are being compulsorily moved. The latest notice on the move is it will be in July.”
The federal treasurer’s “solution” to the housing affordability crisis is to get state governments to relax restrictions on housing developers to increase supply.
Scott Morrison told the industry’s peak body, the Urban Development Institute, on October 24 that “housing in Australia, especially in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, is expensive and increasingly unaffordable, but that does not mean it is overvalued.”
How can you have more affordable housing and keep prices up at the same time?
The answer is you can’t do both.