The Victorian Greens have called a Victorian Labor Government decision to walk back a commitment to build affordable housing on a site in Fitzroy North “outrageous” in the midst of a housing crisis.
Earlier today, Yarra Councillors were notified that plans to build social and affordable housing on the Fitzroy Gasworks development site had been “paused” while the Government reviewed its options.
This is despite the Government originally committing to set aside 20 per cent of the development for public, social and affordable housing.
Victorian Greens renters’ rights spokesperson, Gabrielle de Vietri, said since the development was first announced, the Government had slowly wound back and watered down its commitment for the site, and that today’s notice seemed to be the final nail in the coffin.
She added that given over three hectares of the public land – bought and decontaminated at taxpayers’ expense – has been earmarked for private development, allocating 20 per cent of the land for social and affordable housing was doing the bare minimum.
The Government has made this decision while elsewhere in Victoria they are demolishing public housing and giving the land to private developers for privatised housing.
Only 800 metres away in Collingwood, they have earmarked public housing land for new private apartments, building over public housing basketball courts, picnic areas and a children’s playground.
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens spokesperson for renters’ rights, Gabrielle de Vietri MP:
“In the midst of a housing crisis, it beggars belief that this Government is walking back commitments to build social and affordable housing that were already weak to begin with.
“Until this Government seriously invests in public housing, homelessness will get worse, not better. Housing waiting lists will get longer. More people will be forced to live in cars, accept dangerous rooming houses, or sleep rough.
“The Greens are urging the Government to recommit to using the Fitzroy Gasworks site to build at least 20 per cent social and affordable housing, and to reassess the remaining residential land for its potential to be used for public housing.”