Contact: Ali Martin
02 9230 2803

Media Release: 4 years on and still waiting: government’s public housing failure

Public housing residents of Cowper Street in Glebe are still waiting to be relocated back to the site, almost 4 years after being evicted by the former Labor government in 2011. On Saturday, Fairfax reported that Treasurer Mike Baird will sign over the title to the land to community housing groups within weeks, prompting speculation that it may be used to rehouse residents evicted from Millers Point public housing.

 Greens MP Jamie Parker has questioned what this will mean for former residents of the Glebe site, who were promised relocation back to Cowper Street once it was rebuilt.

 “The government claims the 99-year leases it is selling at Millers Point will fund the new development in Cowper Street in Glebe, but that site was already promised to its former residents who have now been waiting almost 4 years,” Mr Parker said.

 “Public housing on the Glebe site was demolished under the former Labor government, which broke its promise to provide more public housing and to rehouse its former residents – now the Liberal government seems to be promising that same site to Millers Point residents.

 “I fought the demolition of the public housing Glebe, but the former state Labor government forged ahead, evicting 130 tenants.

 “Despite Labor’s promise to build housing on the site, we’re still waiting – that was 4 years ago.

 “Sadly the frustrating experience of these Glebe public housing residents is likely to be replicated for those Millers Point residents hoping for a smooth relocation.

“These latest evictions will have a huge social cost and I’m appalled that the government ignored advice from its own consultants on how to evict vulnerable tenants while minimising damage to their health and wellbeing.

“The former Labor government chronically underfunded public housing maintenance which has paved the way for the current Liberal government to financially justify the privatisation of public assets like these properties, with devastating impacts for the community.

“After 16 years of Labor government in NSW, there was a massive deficit in public housing stock and a $300 million maintenance backlog.

“This feeds into the worst fears of public housing residents in the inner city and the inner west.

 “We only need to look to the former Labor Government’s actions to see that when public housing is sold off and privatised, it is always the most vulnerable residents who suffer,” Mr Parker said.

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