The Victorian Public Tenants Association has welcomed the final report into the Public Housing Renewal Program, tabled in the Legislative Council today.
Mark Feenane Executive Officer of the Victorian Public Tenants Association (VPTA) said that all 28 recommendations were carefully considered and put the needs of tenants first.
“The Public Housing Renewal Program is primarily about making tenants lives better and upgrading properties that are no longer fit for purpose.”
“It’s less about fixing our housing crisis overall – we need a separate, long-term plan to do that.”
The VPTA particularly applaud State Parliament’s Legal and Social Issues Committee for the inclusion of:
- Recommendation 10 – that the Victorian Government include the provision of employment opportunities for public housing tenants in the tender process for the Public Housing Renewal Program sites;
- Recommendation 11 – that where possible the Victorian Government involve public housing tenants in the design process for the Public Housing Renewal Program sites, and;
- Recommendation 26 – that the Victorian Government ensure that designs of public and private housing at each site are tenure blind, including equitable access of public tenants to common facilities where practicable
At no point does the report state that the Public Housing Renewal Program should be temporarily halted or permanently rejected. It is therefore concerning that the Victorian Greens are tomorrow tabling a motion to reject the program in full – putting the lives of public housing tenants in limbo.
Mr Feenane said that politicians need to stop playing games with the lives of people living in public housing.
“By no means is the Public Housing Renewal Program perfect. Ideally, there would be a greater uplift of properties, however, this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity and we have to be pragmatic in our approach.”
“Around 350 tenants have already been relocated – they deserve certainty that their homes will be renewed and not left empty.”
The VPTA calls on the Liberal-National Coalition to reject any motion from the Greens that seeks to disrupt the program.
The VPTA look forward to working with all political parties in the lead up to November’s state election to develop cross-party solutions that ensure more public housing stock is built into the future.