Housing

Just under two years ago, people gathered in the Victorian State Library to launch the Home Stretch campaign, which calls on all state governments to raise the age a young person can remain in a care placement from 18 to 21 years.

Home Stretch came together because there had been too many young people who, having been cared for and looked after by the state, were cast adrift at the tender age of 15–17, with all formal support ending.

A public housing rally on May 26 attracted about 200 people to the Walker Street estate in Northcote, one of the many estates threatened with a “renewal” program that will lead to much of the land being privatised with no certainty of return for current residents.

The formation of Victorian Socialists is continuing to generate excitement among progressives in Victoria, with about 600 people attending the election campaign launch in Collingwood on May 12.

Organisers anticipated about 300 people would attend, but the venue was soon filled to capacity and about 200 people were relocated to the building’s basement. The three candidates and other speakers had to give their speeches twice!

In a dawn raid on May 4, about 20 police descended on protesters, who had set up tents on the lawn in front of Hobart’s Parliament House to protest the state government’s lack of response to Hobart’s housing crisis, and ordered them to move on.

Green Left Weekly’s Alex Bainbridge caught up with Sue Bolton, Socialist Alliance councilor in Moreland and Victorian Socialist candidate, to ask her about the Victorian Socialists’ campaign for the Legislative Council’s Northern Metropolitan seat in the state elections in November.

Why are you running on the Victorian Socialists’ ticket?

The New South Wales government plans to ban people with a history of drug offences from living in social housing in parts of inner-city Sydney.

The desire to provide an environment that helps people who are trying to minimise their drug use and stay away from drug markets is understandable. The reality is there is no evidence that this is what the policy will achieve.

 

Residents of Fitzroy’s massive Atherton Gardens public housing estate rallied and then occupied the local office of the Housing Department on March 16.

The rally was organised by the Atherton Gardens Residents Association (AGRA) and was also attended by supporters of public housing including the Victorian Socialists.

The Victorian Socialists released this statement on the Batman byelection on March 18.

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The Labor Party has managed to retain the seat of Batman, by offering a progressive and competent candidate in Ged Kearney, after years of imposing the right-wing powerbroker David Feeney on the electorate, as part of factional deals.

Housing is a basic human right, but under neoliberal capitalism it has become a privilege enjoyed by fewer and fewer people.

Anyone who is a public figure can expect a bit of hate mail. Recently I received about half a dozen colourful phone messages after WA One Nation parliamentarian Charles Smith published a Facebook meme attacking the City of Fremantle for having "the most Un-Australian [sic] council in the Nation". Included were my contact details and those of the Mayor, with outraged right-wingers encouraged to communicate their rage at us for "destroying Australia Day".

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