Inquiry into land sell-off

Monday, August 28, 2017

Inquiry into land sell-off
Moreland Leader, Melbourne by Emma Hastings

Questions raised over Renewal Program's level of investment in public housing

 A PARLIAMENTARY inquiry will investigate plans to privatise public land on inner-city housing estates.

 Southern Metropolitan state Greens MP Sue Pennicuik moved to establish an inquiry into the Public Housing Renewal Program and investigate if a 10 per cent increase in housing was adequate and if the developments would cater for a mix of family sizes.

 Moreland Council this month voted to support the program's redevelopment of Gronn Place, Brunswick West, but only if it was kept in public hands and was 100 per cent public housing.

 Plans for the site would see 73 public housing dwellings demolished and 261 built, but only 90 of them would be public housing.

 North-east ward councillor Sue Bolton said she welcomed the inquiry.

 "I would like to see 100 per cent public housing dwellings, and go up a level, increase the height to four storeys which is the zoning for that area," she said.

 Cr Bolton said she was also concerned that existing residents would not be allowed to return to Gronn Place once the new housing was built.

 Housing Minister Martin Foley said the State Government had already built 1100 social housing properties through purchasing and leasing programs.

 "For 30 years we've been promising to get rid of the out-of-date, unsafe, concrete walk-ups - and we are actually doing it," Mr Foley said.

 Mr Foley has previously told the Leader the State Government had signed a pledge with tenants to assure their security of tenure.

 "We aren't going to play politics with people's lives," Mr Foley said.

 "The relocation process is commencing and all tenants will have individualised support to assist them."

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