Dirty Work at the Crossroads: Public Housing Tenants and the Family Home

Today’s Guest Post is by the redoubtable Leone. Yes, you have already read it, but I thought it would make an excellent thread-starter on a very important topic. So, Leone, please forgive me, and thank you for your wonderful work.

I knew it –

On December 17 last year I had a visit – by appointment – with a young woman from NSW Housing, to talk about the Baird government’s plans to force public housing tenants out of their family homes when those homes became, allegedly, too big after the kids had all moved out.

I was informed of my options – apply for a transfer, be offered two new residences and either accept one of them or stay where I am and pay $20 a week extra for the privilege. They say it’s because families are waiting for homes. I say it’s revenue raising. The public housing shortage here is mainly in one or two bedroom ‘pensioner’ accommodation, which is what they want me to take. According to their website the waiting list for such accommodation here is at least five years.

Anyway, I was given a stack of forms to fill in and assured by this very polite young woman that she would be back the next week for my final decision. I am just one of many local tenants facing this problem, not all of them oldies. .

I heard no more from her. I suspected that the whole thing had been quietly put aside until after the NSW election. You can’t have a mob of angry tenants protesting in the street about being forced out of their homes. Not a good look at all.

I was right.

Today a letter arrived from the same woman. She didn’t bother asking me what I had decided, she didn’t bother coming back for the paperwork, she has just told me I will be offered two places and I can expect to be rehomed in less than twelve months. If I refuse both offers – which I will do – they will begin eviction proceedings. This was a threat to make me comply. The department’s policy is still to simply charge extra rent, not to evict.

My needs – which she has acknowledged in writing – complicate things. I need ground floor, level access, with a yard (for the cats) and assorted bathroom modifications. Such a place does not exist here. Good luck finding something suitable that does not exist within twelve months.

Bring it on, I say. I can’t wait for the headlines – ‘Seventy year old disabled grandmother forced out of her home’………..

(Image Credit: Tanzania Pure Discovery)

625 thoughts on “Dirty Work at the Crossroads: Public Housing Tenants and the Family Home

  1. I think I’ll stop here with the live updates as we pretty much know where it’s going to end up.

  2. Yep, thanks for the info.

    I have to say I really like the Guardian map of election results, showing each electorate with size weighting. Much easier to understand than the to-scale maps with large blue rural seats overshadowing the tiny red dots of city seats.

  3. burning wood as a “renewable energy” source…Isn’t that one of the faults that got us to this crossroad?

  4. jaycee@jaycee ‏@trulyjaycee 50s51 seconds ago

    yet to meet person admit voting LNP…voting public hides it’s crime behind a “fig-leaf” of shame,call it nationalism..I call it cowardice!

  5. Alan Austin, for Crikey, on the Coalition’s economic management.

    I’ll post the lot because it’s locked and because it is a very handy summary of just how the government has run down the economy, with all the figures.

    Hapless Hockey’s half-term horrors

    Examining the data on the first 18 months of the Coalition’s economic management, just how bad has it been? Where have things worsened? And with Joe Hockey’s second budget looming, have there been any successes at all? Alan Austin reports.

    As Treasurer Joe Hockey ramps up to present his second federal budget, what is the current state of play? Has the Coalition lived up to its reputation of responsible economic management?

    Crikey takes a look at 20 key indicators, and the results are not going to make Joe dance with joy. Most indicators used by economists, businesses and consumers to assess economic health have deteriorated badly under the Coalition government. This list of 20 key variables is not exhaustive.

    1. Economic growth
    The rate of gross domestic product (GDP) growth through 2014 was 2.5% This is below 2.7% in 2013 and well below 3.1% in 2012. Significantly, Australia has fallen behind many comparable countries, including Canada (2.63%), Sweden (2.7%), USA (3.0%) Norway (3.2%) and New Zealand (3.5%). Australia was well behind regional trading partners Indonesia (4.71%), Malaysia (5.8%), the Philippines (6.9%) and China (7.0%).

    2. Income
    Alarmingly, Australia’s real gross domestic income has dropped for the last three quarters. From $387.9 billion in March last year, it has slipped to $386.5 billion in December. (ABS trend figures, Table 1, column V).

    The only previous times there have been three consecutive quarterly declines since the 1950s were during the 1961 credit squeeze, the 1977 downturn, the global recessions of 1982 and 1991, and the global financial crisis (GFC) in 2009.

    3. Gross domestic product per capita
    More alarmingly, Australia’s GDP per capita has declined for two straight quarters. One of the most resilient upward curves, this indicator has only deteriorated for two or more consecutive quarters twice since the series began in the Whitlam years. They were the 1991 global recession and the GFC in 2009. (ABS trend figures, Table 1, column AA. The seasonally adjusted figures, column BK, show December marginally above the September quarter, but still below March.)

    4. Debt
    Net debt in Australia left by Labor in 2013 was $178.1 billion. At the end of March this year, less than 18 months later, it had blown out by 40.4% to $250.1 billion.

    Debt is still nowhere near worrisome levels, but it is moving swiftly in the opposite direction to that promised.

    5. Deficits
    According to the ABC fact checkers, deficits over the forward estimates had doubled by April 2014 over the levels bequeathed by Labor. Since then, revenue losses and increased spending suggest the deficits may have deepened further. We await confirmation in next week’s budget.

    6. Interest rates
    By Treasurer Joe Hockey’s own reckoning, this is a major failure. He said in 2013 “if interest rates come down today, it is because the economy is struggling, not because it’s doing well”. That was when the rate was cut to 2.5% — where it remained for 19 months. Within six months of Hockey taking charge it fell to 2.25% and was cut again to 2.0% this week.

    7. Unemployment
    Seasonally adjusted, the jobless rate has fluctuated between 6.1% and 6.3% for the last 10 months. This is well up on 2012-13 levels between 5.1% and 5.7%. (Table 2, column AB).

    8. Looking for full-time work
    For the last 12 months this has been at 2.8% or 2.9 % of the population. This is the highest level since September 2009, at the depths of the GFC. In 2012-13, this ranged between 2.4% and 2.8%. (Table 2, column AK).

    9. Job participation
    This has been stuck at or below 64.8% for the last eight months. The 2012-13 range was 64.9% to 65.2%. (Table 02, column AE).

    10. Household savings
    From a trough in 2009 and 2010 GFC, savings grew steadily through the Gillard/Rudd years to peak at $25.03 billion in March 2012. The figure fluctuated until September 2013 when it was $23.96 billion.

    Since then, savings have dropped in all five quarters under the Coalition. In December, the level was $22.73 billion, a decline of more than 5%. (Table 20, column AL).

    11. Business confidence
    The Abbott government started with a healthy 12 on the ANZ Bank monthly index, well above the negative numbers in parts of the Labor period, but below Labor’s 2010 peak of 19.4.

    It has been downhill from there. The level dropped to six for the three months straight after the election, fluctuated between five and 10 for the next 10 months, then plummeted to one in November last year. This year it has registered three, zero and three.

    12. Economic freedom
    Measured by the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, economic freedom was high in Australia throughout the Labor years, ranking top in the OECD and third in the world behind Hong Kong and Singapore.

    During the 2015 ranking, however, Australia slipped 0.6 of a point and lost third spot to New Zealand. The foundation highlighted declines through 2014 “in investment freedom, freedom from corruption, and the control of government spending”.

    13. Infrastructure
    Public sector engineering construction fell a staggering 19.46% in 2014 from 2013 levels. This is the greatest decline year-on-year since the ABS series began in 1986. (Table 3, column K.) This is down more than a quarter from the level in 2012, the year Australia was awarded Infrastructure Minister of the Year by the London-based publication Infrastructure Investor.

    14. Building activity
    The value of non-residential buildings constructed in 2014 fell from the previous year by an astonishing 11.3%. The only other decline since this series began in 2000 was in 2010 at the depths of the GFC.

    Figures for early 2015 show no sign of improvement. The aggregate for the last two months, February and March, are the lowest since 2005. (Table 51, column BF.)

    15. The Aussie dollar
    Historically, within 10% of the US dollar has been considered optimum. For most of the last four years under Labor, this was maintained.

    Under the Coalition, however, it dropped below 87 US cents in January 2014, below 80 cents in January 2015 and below 76 cents in April.

    16. Terms of trade
    This measure  — reflecting the relative price of exports in terms of imports — has retreated markedly in the last 12 months, falling from near 100 at the 2013 change of government to a lowly 87.9 in the last quarter of 2014.

    17. Taxation
    Finance figures for March show the government is on track to collect $362 billion in tax revenue this financial year. That is 6.0% above the actual collection of $341.6 billion in 2013-14. That, in turn, was 4.7% higher than the $326.4 billion in the last full year under Labor, 2012-13. This is clearly a high-taxing regime.

    Those are the negatives, leaving very few positives. Among these are:

    18. Inflation
    According to the ABS, this remains within the target band at 1.3%.

    19. Productivity
    This picked up at the start of 2011 and has continued to rise every quarter since.

    20. Credit ratings
    Australia has kept the triple-A ratings with all three agencies. But with warnings. Fitch noted in March that “the fiscal position is sensitive to a marked deterioration in economic conditions, especially without offsetting policy measures”.

    All this sharpens interest considerably in next week’s federal budget

  6. Jude ‏@judz52 2m2 minutes ago

    Jude retweeted TOM IN OZ

    That made me laugh

    Jude added,
    TOM IN OZ @SirThomasWynne

    * TONY ABBOTT *…
    10:52 PM – 7 May 2015 · Details
    0 retweets 0 favorites

  7. try this.
    Jude ‏@judz52 2m2 minutes agoJude retweeted TOM IN OZThat made me laughJude added,TOM IN OZ @SirThomasWynne@christnagavier* TONY ABBOTT *…10:52 PM – 7 May 2015 · Details0 retweets 0 favorites

  8. Whoa, the Liberal Democrats have lost 40 of their 57 seats, holding only 6 so far. 11 left to count.

    The UK psephos were saying they’d be likely to hold at least 20 because of incumbency values, turned out that didn’t amount to much.

  9. Also it looks like Labour has won back most of the seats it lost to the Lib Dems in 2005 as a result of the backlash from the Iraq War and tuition fee rises.

  10. yet to meet person admit voting LNP

    They don’t have to. You just know it spontaneously from the very words they utter.

  11. Last Scotland seat Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk calling in with an SNP gain from LDP, bringing the SNP’s total to 56 of the 59 Scotland seats.

    But the way things are looking, all of them will be irrelevant in the next parliament.

  12. Ta, Leone…I won’t ask how yers did it’ cause i know yers done it!…anyway, I’ll forget, sure as eggs!

  13. Those silly SNP. dicks think they are going to call the shots in the next parliament…they’re a minor party, the Tories will sideline them faster than it takes to cool a canape!

  14. jaycee423

    Burning wood is carbon neutral as all of the carbon in the CO2 was taken from CO2 in the atmosphere. BUT in this case they want to use native forest wood “waste” . Renewable ? Yeah right, every hundred years or so.
    All just a move to sling money to their dodgy native forest timber companies.

Comments are closed.