MEDIA RELEASE: NSW Labor breaks election promise with shameful Waterloo privatisation

Today the NSW Minns Labor Government has broken an election promise and shamefully announced it will press ahead with plans to privatise half of the Waterloo South public housing estate.

Under the plans, the current 749 public dwellings will be demolished to make way for 3,000 new apartments - only 30% of which will be social housing, which is just 2% more than the Liberals original plans. A further 20% will be “affordable” housing, and the remaining 50% will be private.

Jenny Leong Member for Newtown and Greens NSW Spokesperson for Housing and Homelessness said:

“Today NSW Labor has broken their election promise to Waterloo residents that they would stop the sell-off of the Waterloo Public Housing Estate.

“What they have announced today are plans that are in substance only marginally better than what was originally planned under the Liberal National government. 

“NSW Labor had a chance to end the  Liberal’s privatisation agenda, instead they are continuing this shameful legacy of evicting public housing tenants from their homes, for insulting increases to social housing stock that barely touch the sides of the housing crisis.

“The Greens will continue to stand in solidarity with the Waterloo community, public housing tenants and activists across the state - to stop the privatisation agenda, push for the site to remain 100% public housing, and for affordable housing to be actually affordable in perpetuity. said Ms Leong. 

Sylvie Ellsmore, City of Sydney Deputy Mayor and Greens Councillor said: 

“We are losing public housing in the inner city at a rapid rate. This project will mean we go backwards in terms of the percentage of public housing in the city.

“The Waterloo South plans have been sold as an increase in social housing, but in reality they will see the City’s largest public housing estate go from 100% public housing – which it is now – to 30% or less public housing. 

“It is beyond disappointing that we have seen the continuation of many Liberal projects to demolish and privatise inner city public housing – not just in Waterloo, but in Glebe and Erskineville. 

“The maths simply doesn’t stack up that we need to privatise so much public land to upgrade public housing. The decision to rezone and privatise public land worth billions of dollars need to be the subject of public scrutiny,” said Deputy Lord Mayor Ellsmore.

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