When former Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward announced the sale of public housing properties in Millers Point in March last year, she began the process of destroying the Millers Point Public Housing Community. In the past 12 months half of the public housing residents have been moved to other properties. For many of these residents it has meant leaving their friends and community behind and often finding themselves socially isolated.
Last April the City gave the Redfern Legal Centre, who are specialists in public housing related issues, a grant of $100 000 to provide advocacy and advice to the affected tenants. During this time 130 tenants have received support from the Centre. They are now seeking an additional $50 000 funding for another six months.
Of the remaining residents a large number are elderly and have disabilities and complex needs. There will be considerable pressure on these vulnerable residents to leave within the next year to fit in with the Government’s sale deadline. This support is critical when you consider the issues some tenants face including finding appropriate properties to meet their mobility needs in terms of physical access and transport, psychological impacts and social isolation, as well as domestic support needs. Some of these residents may also be finding that they no longer meet the Department of Family and Community Services’ criteria for public housing.
I will continue to support these residents in their fight to stay in their homes. It is critically important that these residents receive this independent support. I want to thank the staff at Redfern Legal Centre for their ongoing work and dedication to these residents. Given the scope and complexity of this work I believe this grant is not only appropriate but also excellent value for money in terms of the services it provides.
For those of you wishing to support the residents you can sign the following petitions: