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Let our elderly neighbour stay in her home

This petition had 5,153 supporters

Mrs Mary Vo, a mother, grandmother, widow, former refugee and our beautiful neighbour, is being evicted from her home through no fault of her own. The NSW State Government overturned it's plans last year and decided to sell her little home and all other public housing in Millers Point. The decision runs contrary to financial and urban planning advice as well as the government's own policy of allowing elderly to age in place. Given there is no reason to sell immediately, Mrs Vo pleads for them to wait until she has lived out her remaining few years. We need your help to let her stay where she belongs.

Mrs Vo was born in Saigon, South Vietnam, just before the outbreak of World War II. In 1975 she was working as the secretary of the Vietnamese Radio Broadcasting station for 'The Voice of Freedom' and 'The Voice of the Mother of Vietnam’ but escaped the communist regime by boat, survived a shipwreck and then waited a year in a Thai refugee camp before coming to Australia in 1987.

After raising four children, Mrs Vo is now 76 and has heart, gout, asthma and other health conditions to manage as well as impaired mobility. In the last few years she lost her husband to cancer and had seven major operations but family and Church remain the centre of her life. Mrs Vo relies on the community around her but still actively contributes, caring for her grandson, welcoming and cooking for fellow parishioners and tending her plants. Mrs Vo's home is only a short distance away so she is able to slowly walk to mass each Sunday.

Mrs Vo often says, 'thank you very much Australia Government and Australians' for the 'freedom for life'. A survivor of significant trauma and loss, she was always cheerful. Now she is often in tears. Not surprisingly, given the government’s social impact study warned that forced relocation of elderly people would result in death and higher incidences of morbidity, the toll on her mental and physical health has been terrible. Mrs Vo understands that the Government can sell her home and she is scared of the repercussions of asking.

Given that there is no reason to sell her home immediately, and the process promises very poor outcomes including the need for additional and significant health, medical and social services if she is evicted, we urgently request that Premier Baird give Mrs Vo, a resilient but vulnerable elderly woman, clemency from eviction.

Premier Baird please show you are able to respond to the needs of real individuals rather than rolling on with a blanket decision that may be OK for some but life threatening for elderly or otherwise vulnerable people like Mrs Vo. Grant her the right to age peacefully in her own home, where she can be supported by the community that knows and values her, and where she can continue to contribute.

Please sign to help keep Mrs Vo in our community. Displacing people like Mrs Vo negatively impacts on an entire community. It could happen anywhere.

With thanks

Kelli Haynes
Millers Point

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