Restore support for Redfern and Waterloo Public Housing Tenant Services!
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#stopthecuts #Placemaking #Fairgo
Waterloo and Redfern are already suffering the consequences of the withdrawal of funding from the UNSW Community Development Project. Now they have lost place based independent community development provided to Redfern and Waterloo tenants by the Housing Community Programme (HCP). HCP has been running since 1994 and for 14 years was hosted by Counterpoint Community Services. HCP worked alongside the regional Tenant Participation Resources Services (TPRS) hosted by Inner Sydney Voice which has also been disbanded after 23 years. Funding for both programs has been merged to create a very different regional Tenant Participation and Community Engagement (TPCE) and tenants should not expect the same type of service. It is not yet known what service will run the new project from the upper north shore to Sutherland.
That FACS urgently, in consultation with tenant bodies and local service providers:
- Assess the impact of the decision to windup TPRS and HCP on place-based work in Redfern and Waterloo and other areas where place-based providers are impacted by the decision to end the HCP & TPRS programs.
- Ensure there is no loss of support, services or historical community activities to the Redfern and Waterloo public housing communities and their NABs, resulting from the windup of HCP & TPRS.
- Provide additional funding to local community centres impacted by the HCP decision so community centres can continue to provide place-based programs to service the local public housing communities who walk through their doors.
- Recognise that funding to local NGOs for Communities Plus projects which are handling redevelopments in Redfern and Waterloo, do not replace the need of HCP and TPRS programs. The Communities Plus projects are in response to new needs arising from the decision to redevelop these estates.
Please help us save Redfern Waterloo community services by signing and sharing our petition calling on FACS and the current government to stop the cuts to services for our already marginalised and often ignored the community.
Our community has been ignored:
- No consultation with tenant bodies about changes to tenant support and participation program
- No evaluation of the impact of losing the HCP program on Redfern and Waterloo
- The very different TPCE program is not a place-based program like HCP
- No recognition of the importance of place-based community development or local support services for tenants
- No recognition of the importance of HCP running from a local community centre with walk-in services available when there is a problem to be addressed
- Weakening of the local community centres through decreased staffing and funding being shifted to larger non-local providers
- Potential to lose local programs that were leveraged through HCP e.g. Summer on the Green, Volunteers Awards, RedWater News etc
- Loss of local knowledge and trust between tenants and existing workers and loss of diverse service choices for residents between service providers in tenant support space
Redfern Waterloo tenants have been supported for over two decades by the FACS’ funded Housing Communities Program (HCP) a place-based community development project run from Counterpoint Community Services and a regional Tenants Participation Resource Service (TPRS) run from Inner Sydney Voice. FACS recently evaluated the TPRS program and decided to change this program into a very different regional Tenant Participation and Community Engagement (TPCE). HCP funding was also transferred into the new program. There was no assessment of any place based HCP programs before HCP was disbanded.
During this evaluation process, our community has been IGNORED and had NO input. No tenants or tenant bodies were consulted about what they wanted or about the proposed changes to TPRS or HCP. The current long-time HCP provider, Counterpoint Community Services was not invited to the TPRS evaluation sessions and was not even talked to before the decision to wind up HCP was made. It was clear from the TPRS evaluation discussions that FACS was concerned about the role advocacy played in the current program. It was also clear that FACS did not want to fund independent tenant participation work for community housing providers, which is especially concerning with the transfer of substantial public housing stock to community housing providers. These tenants have lost independent participation support and now have to expect their landlords will support tenant participation on issues that might be against their landlord’s perceived interest.
FACS appear to have a preference for the TPCE Program to be run by a large state or regional provider rather than local services connected to the communities they serve. During the tendering process Counterpoint Community Services and Inner Sydney Voice made bids for the TPCE tender. As existing providers, both organisations were not even given the courtesy of an interview prior to the final decision. While unsuccessful applicants were notified it is still unknown who the state-wide or regional TPCE provider will be. At a time of great uncertainty for the residents of Waterloo, as they are facing the Waterloo Redevelopment, this is just another anxiety-inducing and poorly communicated change that our community does not want.
Counterpoint Community Services made a representation on behalf of Redfern Waterloo residents to the head of FACS about the poor process when the decision was announced in March 2018 which remains unanswered.
For more information contact
Geoffrey Turnbull REDWatch Co-Spokesperson
Ph Wk: (02) 8004 1490 Mob: 0418 457 392
Or Inner Sydney Voice on: 02 9698 7461
Or Counterpoint Community Services Inc on: 02 9698 9569
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