Monday, April 22, 2024
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Aboriginal housing for Waterloo welcomed

The CEOs of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council (MLALC) and the Aboriginal Medical Services Limited (AMS) have welcomed the NSW government’s commitment to a minimum of 15 per cent of all social and affordable housing in the Waterloo South redevelopment being for Aboriginal people.

The Redfern Waterloo Alliance of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and Allies arranged a media event, with Warren Roberts speaking as the chairperson and campaign organiser, and Siobhan Bryson, the CEO of Weave, speaking on behalf of the allies.

In announcing changes to Waterloo South, Housing Minister Rose Jackson increased both the amount of social and affordable housing in that redevelopment as well as the proportion that would be dedicated to Aboriginal people. The changes guarantee there will be at least 135 Aboriginal social housing homes and 90 Aboriginal affordable housing homes delivered in Waterloo South through an Aboriginal affordable housing provider.

“This is an opportunity to show a commitment to the Aboriginal community remaining in the area that is famous for Aboriginal people, and where our rights movement commenced and is based,” said Nathan Moran, MLALC CEO.

“The Aboriginal Medical Service Redfern considers housing a major component toward improving better health outcomes for Aboriginal people in our community,” said LaVerne Bellear, AMS CEO.

The Redfern Waterloo Affordable Housing Campaign was formed in 2020 following a letter to the premier signed by most of the Aboriginal organisations and supporting agencies in the inner city. These organisations were acknowledged and thanked in the campaign’s media release.

The campaign calls on the NSW government to deliver:

(1) 10 per cent Aboriginal affordable housing in all government redevelopments in the area;

(2) An increase in Aboriginal social housing, ensuring that any community housing provider would either be Aboriginal community controlled and managed or work in partnership with an Aboriginal community controlled organisation;

(3) Aboriginal jobs and ongoing employment, including targets for Aboriginal employment and contracts for construction and Aboriginal employment in the provision of ongoing services in all government redevelopments in the area.

While Waterloo South only guarantees a minimum of 7.5 per cent rather than the 10 per cent requested, the campaign wanted to celebrate the Waterloo win saying it shows the campaign can achieve more together than they can as individuals.

In the nearby Explorer Street rezoning, on exhibition until December 1, the proposal only guarantees 16 out of 400 units as Aboriginal housing, a long way from the campaign’s ask of 10 per cent.

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Geoffrey Turnbull is the spokesperson for REDWatch.

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