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Public housing estates are being sold to private developers

The Andrews Labor Government is in the process of demolishing existing public housing on eleven estates across Melbourne, and selling off publicly owned land to private developers. New apartments will be built but most of them will not be for public housing tenants. The program is called the Public Housing Renewal Program.

This is happening in Northcote. Located beside the Merri Creek and close to public transport, the Walker Street Estate is slated for demolition. More than 270 new apartments are planned for the site, but only 96 of the new units will be allocated for public housing. Almost all of these will have only one or two bedrooms, yet at present there are more than 50 three-bedroom units on the estate. This will result in less public housing, not more. The Housing Minister has promised the current residents that they will be able to return, but this is hollow: many of them will not be able to come home.

By signing this online petition you will be signing and sending a letter to Premier Daniel Andrews urging him to save public housing at the Walker St site in Northcote and across greater Melbourne. The letter is as follows:

Dear Premier,

 I am deeply concerned that your government continues its plans to sell-off public housing land at Walker St Northcote and other locations in Melbourne. 383 other signatories had their petition tabled in parliament on 6 September asking you to stop.

 As The Age described in an editorial on 9 June this year, the program: ‘fails to meet tenets of public policy…lacks transparency…details are concealed from the public, preventing independent cost/benefit analysis’. The Legislative Council’s Inquiry’s report into the program tabled in parliament on 5 June supports these views.

 I call on you to immediately halt the relocation of Walker St residents, implement a refurbishment program and investigate the building of more public housing units on the site. 

 There are around 83,000 (and growing) vulnerable people (including over 25,000 children) currently on the public housing waiting list and your government should have a building program to meet this demand and reduce homelessness in Victoria.

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