Maximising the social benefits of public housing renewal

Location: Flemington Community Centre, 25 Mt Alexander Road, Flemington.

In late 2016 the Victorian Government announced a program to redevelop public housing estates across Melbourne, with a goal of 10 per cent increase in social housing.

The Public Housing Renewal Program (PHRP) will directly impact the lives of residents of the public housing estates and will profoundly transform large pieces of publicly-owned land. Residents, local governments, affordable housing advocates and non-profit and private housing providers all have a stake in ensuring that this important opportunity has the most effective and socially just results.

The event brought together community members, housing association representatives, researchers, local and state government representatives and housing advocates to discuss ways to maximise the social benefits of this program. A panel of experts opened the event, sharing their insights into public housing renewal. This was followed by small-group discussions and an opportunity for attendees to find others to collaborate with to lobby for change to the program. This event supports a wider goal by the University to call for a rethink the PHRP, including alternative funding models that do not hand over valuable inner-city land for a one-time financial gain. The event generated calls for a moratorium on progress, greater transparency in engagement and financial modelling for the project, a greater focus on allowing right of return for residents and a commitment to retaining public land. Researchers from the University will present findings from the event to DHHS next week and are writing a letter to the State Government to highlight the deep concerns held by the event’s participants. A summary report will be available through the Transforming Housing website early 2018.

This event is generously supported and funded by the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, the Melbourne Social Equity Institute. It is a collaboration between Transforming Housing and the Melbourne School of Geography