As housing unaffordability becomes an increasingly critical social issue in Australia, it is perverse to find that most MPs own two or more homes.
Ben, a friend of ours, lives in public housing in Glebe. His house has been flooded three times in the past two years. His roof needs repairs and he has been told by a bureaucrat that the $27,000 cost to fix the problem is “too much”.
Despite two rounds of mediation in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) — which resulted in the tribunal issuing a notice of order by consent of both parties and an instruction to the government to conduct major repairs — his house remains in the same sorry state.
The Eviction: (FKA On the Rocks)
Directed by Blue Lucine
“Millers Point is now an AirBNB ghost town,” director Blue Lucine told the audience of several hundred at the Chauvel Cinema, Paddington, at the world premiere of her powerful documentary, The Eviction (FKA On the Rocks), on October 13.
The Eviction is the story of the NSW Coalition government’s assault on the public housing community in the inner-Sydney suburb of Millers Point.
More than 150 local and public housing residents attended a forum organised by the Public Housing Defence Network at the Brunswick Town Hall on October 4.
The forum focused on the problems with the Victorian state government’s Public Housing Renewal Program and, in particular, the plight of residents from the Gronn Place estate in West Brunswick who have been forced to leave as a result of the estate’s sell-off to private developers.
The housing crisis could be overcome through a “new system of universally accessible housing, with rents based on ability to pay”, according to Action for Public Housing. The problem, they say, is that “the housing needs of our people come second to profit and greed” for the NSW Coalition government.
The Save Our Sirius (SOS) group campaigning against the New South Wales government's decision to sell off the historic Sirius public housing building has warned potential buyers against proceeding with the purchase.
The NSW Coalition government announced on May 25 it had put the now-vacant building onto the market. Media reports suggest the government is expecting to sell Sirius for upwards of $120 million.
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!
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.