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Counterpoint Community Services on Waterloo Increase

Below is how Counterpoint Community Services advised their newsletter readers about the Government announcement to increase the quantity of social and affordable housing in Waterloo South on 21 August 2023.

Counterpoint and its partners in Groundswell have vigorously advocated for clarity and certainty regarding government plans for Waterloo South. This weekend, you should have received a letter outlining the Government's new plans for Waterloo South.

The new plan aims to increase the number of social and affordable homes in Waterloo South to 50% (30% social and 20% affordable). This will result in approximately 500 additional social and affordable homes compared to the previous Government's proposed plan. Over the next 15 years, it is estimated that the current 749 public housing units will be replaced with 900 new community housing units, 600 affordable housing units, and 1,500 private dwellings. (if our maths is right).

Furthermore, at least 15% of all new social and affordable homes will be dedicated to Aboriginal people, working towards closing the housing gap and achieving better outcomes.

While this falls short of the equitable social mix we have historically advocated for, it is still a significant improvement compared to previous proposals.

In light of the ongoing housing crisis and the unsuitability of the existing stock for many, any additional and new housing is greatly welcomed, but there is a long way to go if we going to meet current needs.  We congratulate the Government on taking this step forward, considering the considerable time it often takes to address policies from a social justice perspective. However, the fight for significant and direct investment into new, upgraded, and additional public housing must continue with no time to spare.

It is important to note that the letter mentioned there is a long way to go before relocation commences, and no one is being asked to move. We are committed to working diligently with others to ensure the necessary support is in place when the time for relocation comes.

We acknowledge differing opinions within the community—some sceptical, some uncertain, and some eager for the redevelopment to begin. Regardless of your viewpoint, we are here to listen, ensure that the Government hears your voice, and offer any independent support we can provide. So don't hesitate to reach out.

There will be a range of pop-up community engagement bbqs and other activities by the LAHC engagement team in the coming weeks; look out for posters and social media updates.