Public housing is under threat throughout NSW with the Liberal National state government carving off 70% of all redevelopments of private housing into private housing developments.
This means that the actual land that is public property is being sold off progressively for the development of privately owned dwellings for profit while the demand for public and affordable housing is skyrocketing.
The Greens do not support the privatisation of public land or public housing. We want to see 100% public housing on all publicly owned residential sites.
The Greens believe that housing is a human right. Safe, affordable and sustainable housing is fundamental to well being and its provision should be considered as an essential service just like health and education.
Australia has a strong legacy of developing public housing as a social benefit in the post war years when there was a strong government commitment to ensure that people would have homes to live in that they could afford. However now only approximately 4.2% of all homes in Australia are social housing dwellings whereas in Singapore 81% of people live in public housing dwellings. In Vienna, 40% of housing is social housing and in Denmark, 19% of homes are social housing dwellings.
We've seen a progressive decline in the development of and access to public housing with successive governments privatising publicly owned land. In NSW, the Liberal National government claims that the development of public housing must be 'cost neutral'. This occurs under the 'Communities Plus' formula in which 70% of the dwellings in public housing redevelopments are handed over to private developers. The resulting 30% is meant to be developed as public housing but increasingly this percentage is been reduced as the government is adding affordable renting housing quotas into this percentage as well. Additionally, we understand that NSW Land and Housing are using sites in the inner city and inner west, to develop in ways that will make surpluses which they claim will be used to fund public housing elsewhere.
We believe that selling off public land to fund public housing is unacceptable.
The current plans to redevelop the Waterloo South public housing site will see a tripling of the number of dwellings on the site to 3,012 - a 300% increase in dwellings - however there will be less than a 10% increase in public housing units - just 100 extra public housing dwellings.
The plan to redevelop the South Eveleigh public housing estate on Explorer Street and Aurora Place, will see the loss of family sized homes and a massive increase in dwellings on the site from 47 one and two-storey townhouses which comprise 152 bedrooms to 430 one or two bedroom units in a series of medium to high-rise buildings. The plan to deliver only 120 public housing units on this site represents an increase of only 73 dwellings and at this stage, there's no indication of whether there will be an increase in the overall number of bedrooms at all. You can read our submission on this plan here.
The government owned site at 600 Elizabeth Street, Redfern is also being redeveloped and part privatised by the NSW Liberal Coalition government, using the Communities Plus formula. This site was previously 100% public housing but has been a vacant block of land for some time. NSW Land and Housing has called for Expressions of Interest to build 300 new dwellings on this site, including around 95 social housing properties. We have written to the Housing and Planning Minister Roberts supporting the calls of the community group 'Action for Public Housing' regarding this site. You can read our letter here.
We want to see real investment in public housing so that the 100,000 people on the NSW Housing waiting list are housed and all public housing properties are properly maintained.
We reject the privatisation of public housing property and land.
Take action and sign this petition calling on the NSW government to reject the Communities Plus formula for public housing developments and to increase its investment in public housing.