The City’s Housing Issues Paper is now on exhibition and the City is accepting submissions. I urge anyone with an interest in housing policy to get involved in this process. While the City’s efforts on the current housing crisis are commendable, I am concerned that this paper, in its current form, lacks teeth. The current policy settings that favour wealthy investors present a challenge to Council. With the rising level of homelessness and a severe lack of investment in public housing the City is regularly faced with the failings of state government policy.
One particular concern I have with the paper is its assumption that community housing providers will eventually take over responsibility of public housing from the Government. While I am supportive of the community sector’s efforts in this critical area I think it is important that the Government retain the primary responsibility for the provision of public housing. If the responsibility is moved solely onto the community sector the government will not be accountable for future shortcomings.
I would also like to see more emphasis on renters’ rights in the paper. Renters make up a significant proportion of residents in the City and they are vulnerable to landlords and the pressures of the market. It is important that we foster diversity in our community and retain housing for people on lower incomes. I am looking forward to working with new Greens MP Jenny Leong who is leading the charge on this issue.
You can read the paper and make a submission at the link below.