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Media Release – Public Housing in Melbourne’s East

Delays to new public housing in Ashburton will hurt the homeless.

The Victorian Public Tenants Association has urged Victorian Parliamentarians to support public housing in Melbourne’s east.

In a motion expected to be debated today, the Markham Estate redevelopment that will deliver 62 public housing units is at risk.

The motion is:

484        MR DAVIS — To move —

That, in relation to Amendment C251 to the Boroondara Planning Scheme which applies to             land at 3 and 10 Markham Avenue, Ashburton, this House —

(1)         notes Planning Scheme Amendment C251 was tabled on 17 October 2017; and

(2)         pursuant to section 38(2) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 revokes Amendment C251.

[Notice given on 3 November 2017 — 2 days remain for resolving]

This site has a long and deplorable history. The 56 public housing units were in very poor condition, and by mid 2015 only 13 units housed tenants, the remainder were uninhabitable. That is why we supported the decision to demolish the site and redevelop.

Two years after the demolition we need the new public housing more desperately than ever.

We recognise that many people have raised legitimate concerns with the proposed redevelopment. However, we believe it is unsustainable to debate this matter ad infinitum while the public housing list grows longer.

We call on your all MP’s to oppose Mr. Davis’ motion.

In the short-term, Parliament could allow the stand-alone 39 supported living units for older public housing tenants to go ahead.

Mr. Davis’ motion constitutes the “nuclear option” and given a range of political realities we are fearful that if this motion is passed construction will not commence for many years.

In these circumstances MP’s who vote to stop the project should outline what they will do to provide at least 62 public housing homes in Melbourne’s east  within the next 12 months.

In the circumstances that the current project is scuttled, we call on the Minister for Housing to urgently move on alternative proposals at this key site.

Specifically, the Government could place transportable housing on the vacant land, along the lines of the Ballarat Road Maidstone project.