Public housing woes dog suburb
A HIGH concentration of public housing in the City of Belmont has created negative perceptions of the area for far too long.
This is the message coming from City of Belmont administration, Belmont MLA Glenys Godfrey and residents fed-up with living close to problematic public housing tenants.
There are pockets of Rivervale with public housing concentrations higher than 50 per cent while a chunk of Redcliffe has 33.6 per cent.
In Belmont, the Housing Authority owns a whole street of properties for public housing. The City of Belmont has an overall public housing concentration of 8.4 per cent, which is in line with Housing Authority’s objective of no higher than one in nine homes allocated for public housing.
City of Belmont acting chief executive Neville Deague said last year the City had been on a 20-year crusade to reduce public housing in Rivervale, Redcliffe and Belmont.
He said concentrations of public housing were detrimental to the physical and emotional well-being of tenants, resulting from societal stereotyping and associated negative perceptions.
Ms Godfrey, who is also the former mayor, says it is one of her electorate’s biggest challenges.
“Every week I meet with residents that have public housing related issues, including a large number of anti-social behaviour complaints and maintenance concerns,” she said.
She said measuring public housing using just percentages could be misleading, citing Rivervale’s 546 public housing properties – the second highest number in the metropolitan area after Bentley.
“The Housing Authority prefers talking about percentages because when surrounding properties subdivide the numbers make it look like there are less public housing properties when, in fact, nothing has changed,” she said.
“This is what is happening with pro-development suburbs like Rivervale.
“Rivervale may not have the highest concentration of public housing in the metropolitan area, but it does have pockets of concentration higher than 50 per cent within two or three blocks.” HAVE YOUR SAY Add your comment at www.communitynews.com.au
Belmont MLA Glenys Godfrey.
Acting Belmont CEO Neville Deague.