Chairperson’s Bulletin No. 2 – 2017

New public housing delayed

The former Huttonham Estate (Preston) was demolished a few years ago and the Markham Estate (Ashburton) last year – both these sites lie vacant whilst people wait to be housed. The Victorian Government has announced plans to build new public housing on both these sites, but local debate has not been particularly supportive of the proposals in either location and the projects appear to be stalling.

Further Government announcements have been made over plans to redevelop a number of public housing estates around the inner city suburbs of Melbourne. These estates are long overdue for redevelopment – they are old and run-down, often have associated health risks such as mould or asbestos and maintenance can only be done on a temporary patch-up basis. Public housing must provide a reasonable standard of accommodation for tenants. To delay redevelopments is to condemn tenants to remain in properties that the Victorian Auditor-General identified (in 2012) as “in a seriously deteriorating condition”.

VPTA position

  • We need more public housing
  • We want to see sites developed quickly – not to do so in the current housing crisis is shameful
  • We want to see coherent and properly funded plans to develop Director of Housing owned land
  • We want to see the optimal number of public housing dwellings on each site and a suitable mix of household sizes
  • We want to see local Council(s) fast-track the development process
  • We want transparency in how these developments are funded and what contribution there will be from Government, Community Housing providers and the private sector
  • We need more investment in public housing and the reality is that if Government cannot or will not fund projects we must have other mechanisms in place to fund public housing growth
  • We want to see any profits from projects that include private developments or sales (such as Markham) used to build more public housing
  • We welcome a proper public debate on how public housing growth should be funded
  • We want genuine community consultation and better community participation and engagement in the decision-making process
  • We need more public housing!

Management Transfers

As part of the Victorian Government’s recent announcements about Social Housing projects, the public has been told that there will be some 4000 management (tenancy) transfers to Community Housing providers.

No details of when and where this will be occurring have been released.

This lack of detail makes it impossible for the VPTA to respond to public housing tenants’ inquiries about what this means for them.

The VPTA wants to see the detailed rationale for these transfers and what will be gained by this move.

Once we have had the opportunity to consider those details we will adopt a formal position in relation to the Government’s proposal.