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Wednesday, 1 June 2016


Thank-you Martina Macey for bringing this to our attention.

Martina is a housing activist and a tenant living in Community Housing. She has contacted Vic ALP Housing Minister Foley's office several times.With good reason, and from her own experience, she believes that Community Housing Organisations are NOT the right people to be taking over the tenancies of vulnerable people on low incomes. She went to the Housing Registrar which is- to quote- 'a business unit within the Department of Treasury and Finance' but got nowhere. Two senior Vic Labor Ministers including Minister Foley have been contacted and are aware of her concerns- but no-one has got back to her. 

As she has written regarding the transfer of public housing titles 
'If this is such a good thing, why is it being done so secretly?' and 'once the stock is gone, there is no safety net for those whom Community Housing don't want as tenants as they won't get a lot of rent from them' 

In the article below Professor Adamson is described as a 'public housing advocate'. We fail to see the logic in this -when this lobby group is pushing for the titles of public housing to be transferred away from the government to Community Housing organisations. 

Just how many public housing properties are they lobbying for nationally? We know the figure in Victoria alone is that they want to be given the titles of 12,000 public housing properties.
David Adamson claims that stock transfers have been 'very successful in Britain' - !?
Very successful for whom? For the housing barons on 6 figure salaries maybe. Not for countless ordinary people in Britain hit with bedroom taxes, displacements, evictions, rising rents and homelessness. 
Why is no-one challenging them on these sweeping statements, when there is so much evidence to the contrary? 

The media here appears to be biassed. Just as we find it difficult to get positive stories up about public housing - Martina has observed 
that the media appears reluctant to publish anything critical about Community Housing Organisations.

The future of public housing should not be confined to 'in-house' discussions on Twitter-feed - among people whose careers are tied up in this. The future of public housing should be taken to the people on the street - which is what we are doing before the federal election.

Once again thanks Martina- a strong woman with a debilitating disability, who refuses to be silenced.

( Oddly the image in the article is cropped- this is how it appears when the link is opened.)

'Federal housing minister, building program needed urgently to fix housing crisis'

A roundtable of community housing leaders in Canberra on Wednesday backed a call for the appointment of a federal housing minister with the powers and the funding to address the housing crisis.

With 206,000 households on social housing waiting lists, 105,000 people designated homeless at the time of the last census, 61 per cent of people entering public housing being homeless at the time they received a place and 40 per cent of people receiving rental assistance still paying more than 30 per cent of their income on rent, urgent action was needed, the gathering was told.
Professor David Adamson, public housing advocate.

David Adamson.jpgProfessor David Adamson, public housing advocate. David Adamson.jpg Photo:
Delegates to the National Housing Strategy symposium, who included representatives of Compass Housing, Access Housing, St Vincent de Paul, the Community Housing Registry Association and Foundation Housing, said while federal Labor governments usually had housing ministers, federal Coalition governments usually did not.
Recent Labor ministers, including Tania Plibersek​, had made little headway on homelessness, public housing and the broader issue of housing affordability because they were not given the tools for the job.
"The key issue is, in discussion with Treasury, empowering the housing minister to bring funding and financial resources into the housing sector," Professor David Adamson, the co-author of the National Housing Strategy Report, said.
The document, commissioned by Compass Housing, outlined an action program to effectively eliminate the public housing waiting list and make homes more affordable for first home buyers.
"Discussions in Treasury and cabinet are notoriously difficult and you need a good strong minister to stand their ground," Professor Adamson, Compass Housing's research and development manager, said. "If you haven't got that voice at the table then you've got no chance."The appointment of an empowered and well-resourced housing minister headed the list of 15 recommendations.
He told Fairfax Media that Coalition governments tended not to appoint housing ministers because they saw the issue as something that could be addressed by market forces.
"But, in reality, markets do often get distorted and government intervention is required," he said.
Economics commentator Saul Eslake, who has worked for some of Australia's largest companies, including the ANZ Bank, said both sides of politics had a poor track record on the shortfall in community housing.
Coalition politicians didn't care greatly because the people who needed public housing were unlikely to vote for them. Labor politicians didn't give the issue high priority because they already had the disadvantaged vote.
Mr Eslake said the public housing sector was not immune to problems in the private market and the affordability crisis had seen people of limited means priced out of the private rental sector by better heeled would-be home owners who hadn't been able to buy.
Professor Adamson agreed: "We are seeing the emergence of the concept of a 'generation rent' with first home buyers having great difficulty entering an overheated market".
Mr Eslake, an advocate of the abolition of negative gearing since the 1980s, said the baby boomers had rigged the property market in their favour at the expense of their own children.
Instead of marching in the streets to protest what had been done to them by their property-investing parents, those children, now 30-somethings, were either asking their parents for money to get into their first home or just refusing to move out at all, he said.
Wednesday's forum also endorsed a call to transfer public housing, including title, to not-for-profit community housing providers.
Professor Adamson, an emeritus professor at the University of South Wales in the UK, who has worked as a senior adviser to the Welsh Government, said this had been very successful in Britain and other parts of Europe.
"If London can reduce homelessness to residual levels in five years, I can't see why it can't be done here," he said.


  1. - and its all the fault of those selfish baby-boomers!!

  2. and they now want to cut penalty rates for the lowest paid that the only housing we can afford is a tent.