Margaret Kelly evicted from her home!

Margaret Kelly evicted from her home!
Cory Memery

Police and security turned up at the Barak Beacon public housing estate on August 18 to evict Margaret from her home.

There is still no publicly available detail on what will finally be built at Barak Beacon, along with three other public housing estates at South Yarra, Prahran, and Hampton East. These four estates were part of what has been branded the “Ground Lease Model 2” (GLM) project by Homes Victoria:

A GLM project awards developers and investors public land at no cost for 40 years for them to build and collect all rents. In the case of Barak Beacon: 126 full market rent; 126 10 per cent discounted market rents; and 98 “social” dwellings. The arrogance of a government supporting market rent housing on public land to benefit investors is breathtaking.

To accommodate residents who lived at Barak Beacon and the other three estates, Homes Victoria has had to purchase private dwellings, are leasing from private investors and are using vacant public housing that should have gone to those on the waiting list. Homes Victoria will also pay a significant annual contribution over the 40 years – in addition to free land – for the provision of the 98 “social” dwellings, which is a mere 10 per cent increase on the public housing that has been demolished and with a smaller number of bedrooms. Retaining, refurbishing, and adding more public housing was the better way forward.

Margaret and her supporters are not giving up on the fight to defend and build more public housing, so please join their campaign: 

Affordable housing any time soon?

Rents in private housing are soaring. 

More people are living in tents, caravans and cars or have moved in with friends and family as their rents have become impossible to afford.

The Australian and Victorian Greens have been advocating a national rental freeze for two years, followed by legislated caps on annual rent increases. Voters have been listening and this forced the federal and state governments to respond. National Cabinet, though, rejected the Greens proposals and decided on increased supply principally through private construction. A revised national target of 1.2 million new dwellings over five years from 2024 has been set. 

Victorian planning reforms will be advised this month to accelerate approvals and support higher densities. Expert opinion, though, doubts the private sector’s interest in responding. Historically they have gained fast approvals but not always built straight away deciding instead to wait to maximise sale prices:
Without mandatory inclusionary zoning in Victoria and a loss of development rights and/or significant state taxation if construction doesn’t start within reasonable timeframes, the delivery of more affordable housing will not happen. •

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