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Issue #1666      November 26, 2014

Defend public housing

“We reject the Baird government’s plan to move as many people as possible out of social housing and into the private rental market. This is a recipe for increased private profits at the cost of increasing human misery,” Hannah Middleton, Secretary of the public housing advocacy group, Hands off Glebe, said in the lead up to a public housing rally in front of Parliament House Sydney.

Photo: Tom Pearson

“Minister Upton’s discussion paper on social housing makes it clear that the Baird government is busy planning to destroy the public housing system.

“When Minister Upton speaks of ‘finite resources’ and social housing as a ‘safety net’, she makes it clear that the Baird government intends to deal with the current housing crisis and intolerable levels of housing stress by throwing more and more people to the wolves of the private rental market.”

Middleton said that the housing crisis extends from the homeless on the street to those who are well paid. “We have people paying extortionate rents or paying exorbitant rates to buy a house.”

Teachers are reporting that children are coming to school hungry because of housing stress, she said.

“What is needed is massive investment in public, affordable housing – more money for more homes for more members of our community,” Denis Doherty from Hands off Glebe said.

“Government has a responsibility to ensure that everyone can find a decent home they can afford. To do otherwise is to increase the welfare burden and the number of people on the street.

“Rents in the private sector are way beyond the means of increasing numbers of people. The private sector has failed the people of NSW.

“We will be outside Parliament House on Wednesday 19 November at 12 noon to tell the Baird government that for economic, social and moral reasons it must massively increase investment in public affordable housing,” Doherty concluded.

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