Andrews government continues public housing privatisation by stealth

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The Victorian state Labor government as part of its neoliberal political agenda is surreptitiously implementing a privatised Social Housing policy. This policy is an underhanded attempt by the government to justify its escalating program of the privatisation of public housing and public land.

Under the guise of providing so called ‘Community Housing’ and ‘Affordable Housing’ the Andrews government has launched its Big Housing Build of $5.3 billion to build 12,000 homes over four years. Of these, 9300 will be community housing and the rest will be affordable housing and private housing.

One proposal is to build ‘Social and Affordable Housing’ on the Wellington Street public housing complex in Collingwood. It intends to take this public housing land to build community housing.

Community housing is nothing more than private social housing and cannot be confused with public housing.

These private housing associations are gifted government money, existing public housing estates and public land whereby they:

  • select tenants at their own will with no recourse or use of the Priority Access List
  • operate at a surplus (profit) to expand their bureaucracy and private housing stock
  • charge 30% of income as rent as against 25% in Public housing
  • offer no security of tenure as it already exists in Public housing
  • have no input from tenants’ management and disregard tenants’ priorities
  • operate outside the regulated Public housing regime

As for so called “affordable housing”, it is another ruse where private developers are subsidised by the government to set aside small portions of housing developments for low-income people. However, significantly there are no controls on the selection of tenants and rents can be up to 80% of private market rent.

Socialist Action is committed to fight for public housing which is owned and operated by government. We vehemently oppose the subterfuge of its privatisation under the cover of social and community housing.

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