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Plibersek questions Redfern housing authorities

Federal MP Tanya Plibersek criticised the state of housing developments in the Redfern Waterloo area at a REDwatch meeting last week reports Christian Meagher in City News on 11 August 2011. [We have also included the comments made on the City News website to date]
The Minister for Social Services and Social Inclusion acknowledged Housing NSW (HNSW)and the Redfern Waterlook Authority (RWA) had failed to adequately consult the community over the controversial Built Environment Plan 2(BEP2).

“At the moment we still have citizens living in third world conditions. The reason I allocated money for the housing affordability fund was that the quality of housing just isn’t good enough,” she said.

“In every conversation I had with state departments and relevant ministers when I was Housing Minister I made it clear we don’t want to see any reduction in public housing stock, we simply don’t have enough as it is.”

As the former Housing Minister, Ms Plibersek is responsible for the federal funding given to Housing NSW to conduct their preliminary Master Plan.

REDWatch spokesperson Geoffrey Turnbull said the community is confused over the recent NSW Housing Master Plan.

“When we ask for details about the relocation of 700 units of public housing tenants for example, HNSW replied by saying the federal funding they received from the housing affordability fund didn’t cover research into such an area.”

Both HNSW and the RWA have released independent reports that detail the community feedback conducted over the BEP2 and living conditions in government housing.

Last month, RWA CEO Roy Wakelin-King said: “We will be using the Stakeholder Engagement Report in preparation for further studies of the Redfern-Waterloo area and acknowledge the need to have a far reaching consultative process.”

Almost half of the RWA respondents said safety was vital to the future development of the area and that they were concerned about the suitability for seniors and the disabled.

A quarter of residents responded favourably to the BEP2’s proposal to increase social mix and boost population growth in the area. Approximately 43,000 people are waiting for government housing in NSW.

HNSW’s Redfern Waterloo Public Housing Tenant Survey also shows concern over safety with almost a third of residents worried about drug related problems, while 20 per cent were concerned about crime related problems.

The 25 minute survey was conducted by 752 public housing residents with overall general satisfaction of the area averaging at 70 per cent.

However when asked: ‘Given the opportunity would you move out of your neighbourhood?’ almost half said they would.

But this figure jumped to 75 per cent for the 18-34 age bracket.

Last week Mr Turnbull criticised the report over inaccuracies and poor research.

“They ask guiding questions instead of offering preferences, which is not comprehensive.”

Ms Plibersek said: “From now until the end of the year there will be a series of excellent opportunities for people to comment.”

HNSW will host a Masterplan Expo at Redfern Park on August 20.

Local residents are encouraged to come along and learn about the development proposals and share their input.

Source: Plibersek questions Redfern housing authorities


3 Comments on “Plibersek questions Redfern housing authorities”

  1. Glenn William WALL said,
    August 12th, 2011 @ 9:45 am

    Tanya is correct in demanding Housing NSW stop reducing housing stock with the Federal money! NSW Housing is following the New Orleans model in that they are not repairing housing stock but demolishing perfectly good housing stock then handing the land over to private developers. It is a cynical operation and quotes the Boston brown stone theory of “no more then 30% public (Welfare) housing per suburb.” Why they are following a system that has proven it self to be corrupt and reducing public housing? I see it as social enginering to remove the underclass from the inner City and to redevelop these suburbs into middle class suburbs. One only has to visit the Sussex st Housing to understand what is going on…3 floors are listed as “Property disposal project team.”
    We have seen the greatest transfer of public assetts to private in our history! Redleaf,Boswell and the list goes on! Most are unaware Housing NSW has devested it self of all housing West of the Great Divide, these housing units are now run by private providers. New Orleans housing has demolished Public housing using the same mantra, yet these housing units where untouched in the disaster due to being on high ground thus protected yet they demolished them! Why? Well the developer wanted the high ground and they used the same explaination as NSW Housing which got it from the Boston Brown Stones…to may poor people in one place…1st you create a problem then you solve it by demolishion…it is no corruption or so said the Independant Commission On Corruption last year when I lodge a complaint no it is “Mismangerment” which I concer with as after 5 years of waiting for the completion of an up grade I am still waiting for works to be complete…thats a $1.5 million up grade! Substandard work by substandard contractors!

  2. Ross Smith said,
    August 15th, 2011 @ 3:19 am

    I have had the ‘pleasure’ of reading the report of HNSW’s baseline survey that was referred to in the article. The report was given a limited release almost a year after it was completed.
    The report contained the following details:-
    •5% of the residents think that redeveloping the area would be the most positive contribution to improving the area
    •40% of the tenants who approached the local HNSW office within the last year are dissatisfied with the service provided to them.
    •41% of the tenants feel that the local neighbourhood has improved in the past five years
    •46% of the tenants feel that the local neighbourhood will improve in the next five years
    •57% of the tenants in the 55+ age group would choose to continue living in their current home in their current neighbourhood, if allowed to do so.
    •58% agree that there is a sense of belonging and that the people are friendly
    •60% think neighbourhood well designed and laid-out.
    •68% are satisfied with the current neighbourhood life
    •71% of the residents feel that the Police and other Agencies are working together to deal with crime and anti-social behaviour.
    •73% are satisfied with the condition of their homes
    •78% of the residents see the Police as the main source of help to manage crime. The Police are rated well for helpfulness, 69%, compared with 35% for Housing NSW.
    •95% of the tenants want anti-social behaviour in all its forms addressed in preference to the estate being redeveloped when asked what would be the most positive contribution to improving the area.

    What the Baseline Survey did show was the tenants clearly felt that the underlying cause of the longstanding social problems being experienced in the area was Housing NSW’s failure to manage both the properties and the tenancies in an appropriate manner. This is borne out by the Survey report showing that only 5% of the tenants felt that redevelopment would be the most positive contribution to improving the area.
    The tenants are the best qualified group to pass judgement on the managerial style of Housing NSW. They are the ones who have to deal with them on a regular basis, and they are the ones who live the Estate experience on a 24/7 basis. The ‘experts’ go home at 5pm and stay away over the weekend.
    In the period leading up to the Baseline Study release Housing NSW told the tenants on multiple occasions that there has been a Political Directive that Social Mix must be implemented and, as a result, Social Mix is an ‘absolute’ that will not be discussed.
    That the tenants would ask the State and Federal Housing Ministers if such a Political Directive had been given was apparently not considered by Housing NSW when drawing up their strategy to ‘sell’ their Estate Redevelopment concept to the tenants.
    That the answers given to the tenants by the State and Federal Ministers would be direct, specific, definitive, and not support Housing NSW’s predetermined position was apparently not even countenanced by Housing NSW.
    The tenants, current and future, are the people who have to pay the price every time that another of Housing NSW’s Social Engineering Experiments fails.
    Housing NSW’s behaviour towards the tenants whilst implementing their predetermined decision to redevelop the Waterloo and Redfern Public Housing Estates is another act of disrespect to the tenants and the broader community of the area.
    This time around they want to shift 700 plus households out of the area to some unnamed destination as part of their latest ‘plan’.
    One only has to look at the street block of boarded up housing in Redfern next to the PCYC to see how successful their last adventure in redevelopment was.
    The only consistency in their planning is a dependence on demonising the tenants, then claiming to be acting to protect the tenants from themselves and casting themself as the knight in shining armour rescuing those in distress.

  3. Glenn William WALL said,
    August 17th, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

    Today we find out that 35 homes in The Rocks are/have been sold making over $38 million! This money we (Public Housing Tenants) were told in the beginning would be spent on the remaining heritage housing to bring them up to heritage standard yet Tuesdays report says it to be spent on affordable housing for the Inner West. I discover that Housing NSW has been selling off housing in Forest Lodge yet the waiting list increases and the housing stock decreases while Housing NSW demolishes good housing units in Bay street Glebe to replace them with smaller units and private development in total with the lose of 32 housing units for public housing using Federal and City of Sydney money and land. Assett stripping by embeded Housing Officer oh no its not corruption but mismangement. TIME FOR AN OPEN PUBLIC INQUIRE…4 CORNERS here I come..with me Ross..