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Who Will Respond?

Letter sent to all Members of the Victorian Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council.

I am writing to you on behalf of Defend And Extend Public Housing to invite you to the 6th Defend And Extend Public Housing Rally which will be held from midday to 2:00pm on Wednesday 10th May, a parliamentary sitting day. Unfortunately, previous invitations to you to outline your political party’s current position have gone unheeded. To date only Ellen Sandell MLA - Member for Melbourne and Sam Hibbins – Member for Prahran have had the time to outline their position on the pivotal role public housing plays in the housing affordability debate to those people who have attended these rallies. Considering there are 88 members in the Victorian Legislative Assembly and 40 members in the Legislative Council, I would have expected a few more members of the Victorian Parliament would come down during their lunch break to outline their position on public housing.

As I'm sure you’re aware affordable housing is the key to social cohesion. Although the best way to create that cohesion is a matter for debate, it is unlikely this will occur unless a government commitment is made to both build and maintain public housing stocks. In 2017 only 3% of Victorians live in public housing. This number continues to fall as successive governments continue to support policies that privatise public housing by transferring both management and public housing titles to the community, social and affordable housing sectors.
In 2017 it seems both the government and the opposition are hell bent on privatising what’s left of the public housing sector.

Public housing should be owned by the people of Victoria and managed by the state government of the day. It should not be owned by privately run and owned organisations that repeatedly put the interests of privately owned organisations before the interests of the people as a whole.

Defend And Extend Public Housing will be holding monthly rallies until the next State election in 2018 on the steps of the Victorian Parliament until Parliamentary representatives in the Victorian Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council consider policies that will ensure:

1. No more public titles will be transferred or sold to privately owned organisations.
2. Current and future governments will not enter into anymore private public housing partnerships.
3. The management of public housing will not be transferred to privately owned organisations.
4. Public housing stocks are substantially increased.

All rallies will be held on a Wednesday from midday to 2:00pm on the steps of Victoria’s Parliament House, Spring St Melbourne (hail, rain or shine)
• Wednesday 10th May - Parliament sitting day
• Wednesday 7th June - Parliament sitting day
• Wednesday 5th July
• Wednesday 9th August - Parliament sitting day
• Wednesday 6th September - Parliament sitting day
• Wednesday 18th October - Parliament sitting day
• Wednesday 1st November - Parliament sitting day
• Wednesday 13th December - Parliament sitting day

I look forward to hearing your position on public housing at the rally on the steps of the Victorian Parliament on Wednesday 10th May or at a future date.

All the very best,

Dr. Joseph Toscano / Joint Convener Defend and Extend Public Housing

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