The Victorian Labor Government has been asked to come clean on its plan to demolish 44 public housing towers and privatise the majority of the land, after a motion was passed in the Upper House earlier today.
The Greens’ motion will require the government to produce all documents related to the plan within four weeks.
In September, the then-Premier revealed Labor’s plan to ‘fix’ the housing crisis would involve knocking down 44 public housing towers and handing over huge swathes of public land to wealthy developers.
The details were scant, leaving thousands of public housing residents in distress and painting a grim picture for the 125,000 people on our state’s wait list for housing.
In response to questioning from the Greens, the Housing Minister revealed the project would see the current 6,660 public housing units replaced with just 7,100 social homes over 28 years.
Given the project is slated to be undertaken between now and 2051, this means an increase of just 440 new social homes built over the next three decades, or approximately 15 each year on average.
Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, said the new Premier had an opportunity to come clean on this project, given it wasn’t part of the government’s election platform less than a year ago.
She added that in the middle of a housing crisis, Labor needed to justify why it was privatising and selling off the few remaining state assets suitable for public homes.
Overnight, the Herald Sun revealed that Victoria’s public housing stock had increased by just 394 homes since 2018, with the total number of bedrooms down.
This is despite the state being three years into what was spruiked as the nation’s ‘biggest social housing build’.
Quotes attributable to Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam MLC:
“Last month the then-Premier revealed Labor’s plan to fix the housing crisis would involve knocking down 44 public housing towers and handing over huge swathes of public land to wealthy developers.
“He made zero commitments to build any public housing on those sites, despite there being over 125,000 people on our state’s wait list for housing.
“Our new Premier has an opportunity now to come clean on this project, and commit to building the public housing our state desperately needs.
“If this government instead decides to privatise these estates, it could mean the end of public housing in Victoria. And the only people that stand to benefit from this are property developers and landlords.”