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Monday, 12 December 2016


Meet DOM and DEE - Western suburbs
We hear a lot about racism in the media.
There is very little racism in Public housing communities. 
Our children from all backgrounds grow up together and play together.

 This is what a Public Tenant family looks like. 


These are Public Housing 'walk-ups' - home to strong communities.
A MASSIVE amount is up for demolition with planned mass relocations of people.


The Vic Labor's Minister for Housing, Martin Foley, recently dropped a bombshell announcement that a staggering amount of walk-ups will be 'redeveloped' - read privatised and gentrified - which are currently situated on prime real estate.

The low-rise 'walk-up' estates were designed with community living in mind, and consist of mainly 3 storey buildings of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units. A small percentage would be in genuine need of demolition but nothing warrants this decision to raze them all to the ground! The overwhelming majority of these dwellings are in good condition. Labor describes them as 'obsolete'- whatever that means. For heaven's sake- Australia is in a housing crisis. If  homes are comfortable and safe- which they are- governments should leave them be and focus on building more housing to meet the demand. 

But of course there is another agenda operating here - privatisation. And big business interests.

I don't believe politicians really care about the homeless. Not really...otherwise there'd be more political Will to fix it.

The Change in the Number of Bedrooms= Discrimination
Martin Foley has said that these public housing homes which are targeted for demolition will be replaced by only 1 and 2 bedroom dwellings. This will result in many public tenant families unable to return following relocations ... Take, for example our wonderful African families. Where will they go ?

I would not take at face value statements like 'the government hopes this will help grow supply by 10 per cent'- to mean true public housing. This is a government which has shown zero commitment to public housing for years and has been busy flogging it off.

Ask the people of Braybrook, Maidstone and Sunshine- where 'Friends of Public Housing' enjoys strong support. They know all about the destruction of public housing coupled with promises to reinvest in 'social housing'- but 'not necessarily in your area'. How does that help people in the West- Labor's heartland- families who are living in cars, relying on charities and experiencing increasing poverty?

A likely scenario is that the public land that Martin Foley speaks of, will be given over to PPPs - Community Housing Organisations cum property developers. The outcome will be an inadequate and negligible public component to meet the urgent demand. Any 'social housing' promised is likely to be private 'community housing' rather than public housing. This is how we are losing Public Housing- by such sleights of hand.

So let's drop the neo-liberal term, 'social housing', when it is used to describe Public Housing. This linguistic trickery is one way that the privatisation by stealth of this public asset is being facilitated. Only Public Housing is owned and managed by the government. Do we say 'social transport' 'social schools' and 'social hospitals'? Of course not. It's public transport, public hospitals and public housing.

A homeless woman Lydia, who follows this blog in the US, has remarked how similar the tactics are  that the governments use to achieve their ends - right down to the words they use. This illustrates the global dimension to this neo-liberal privatisation frenzy. Public housing has been under attack around the world and homelessness in prosperous countries is commonplace. Describing public housing as 'obsolete' is one rationalisation for getting rid of it. In the UK the mass dislocation and relocation of public tenants- a form of social cleansing- has been referred to as 'decantering' - such as 'decantering the sherry'.

Estates to be bulldozed and communities to be torn apart to make way for the almighty dollar -
are in Prahran, Clifton Hill, Brighton, Brunswick, Northcote, Hawthorn, Heidelberg West, North Melbourne and Ascot Vale.  

And more are planned to be demolished across rural Victoria.

The huge Ascot Vale estate alone has been estimated to be home to almost 3,000 public tenants -many, if not most of them, migrants.

How can this be happening people??  As a friend of mine put it, "Australia has not had a major 'left' political party for decades. In Australia there is no equivalent to Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn -  left wing politicians who would vigorously and vocally challenge this"

This is HUGE - so please take a stand!!!

Show your support for Public Housing and Public tenants and join us this Saturday 17th December.

On the day you will enjoy traditional South Sudanese food and experience real Public Housing multicultural community and hospitality.



My name is Dominic. I am a public tenant and a member of Friends of Public Housing Victoria. I am a refugee from South Sudan and I work closely with my community, especially with our young people.

We would like to thank all our FOPHV supporters and invite you to attend an end of year barbecue to Celebrate Public Housing and our multicultural communities.

This event is being hosted by the South Sudanese Public Housing community with participation by members of the Ethiopian Public Housing community.

Halal food will be served. There will be music, entertainment and an Ethiopian Coffee ceremony. There will be speakers on the day including refugee speakers, who will talk about the importance of Public Housing.

It is being held at the

African Australian Community Centre
30A Pickett St. Footscray
This Saturday 17th DEC
2- 7 pm



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