Local community groups are building momentum around a campaign for public housing on a vacant block next to Redfern Oval.
The site, at 600 Elizabeth Street, had 18 public housing residences until they were demolished in 2013. It is entirely owned by the NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC). Since then, various government proposals and consultations have come and gone while the wait list for public housing has grown to over 50,000 people, with a wait time of 5-10 years.
Initially LAHC proposed retaining public ownership of the land, but the current plans involve selling it to a private developer in return for only 30 per cent social housing.
Action for Public Housing rejects this privatisation and calls for 100 per cent public housing. LAHC says it achieves its objectives of “optimising social housing on the site at no cost to government”.
Here lies the problem. This economic model, which the NSW Government calls “Communities Plus”, is actually a form of creeping privatisation. It fails to recognise that decent housing, like public education, transport and health, is a basic responsibility of government.
We say: housing is a human right.
At a time of a housing crisis with costs out of control, a large public investment in public housing, free from the profit motive of the private market, is urgently needed.
To support these demands and raise awareness, Action for Public Housing is running an online petition to the Housing Minister, and we are hosting a free barbecue and protest at the site on Saturday April 2 at 12 noon.
WHAT: Keep 600 Elizabeth Street 100 per cent public housing – barbecue and protest
WHERE: 600 Elizabeth Street, Redfern, opposite Redfern Oval
WHEN: 12 noon, Saturday April 2