In response to the Victorian Public Tenants Association (VPTA) article on Markham Estate be assured that the City of Boroondara is not against the proposal to replace public housing at Markham Estate. Both Council and the Ashburton community want more public housing.
Over the years, we have lost a significant number of public housing dwellings within the City of Boroondara. With nearly 2000 people in inner-eastern Melbourne on the waiting and transfer list for public housing, Council fully supports increased public housing in our City.
The redevelopment of the Markham Estate will do little to address some of the chronic shortage of public housing in the City of Boroondara. Boroondara has less social housing than the surrounding eastern region and Metropolitan Melbourne: 1.3 per cent of Boroondara dwellings are social housing, compared to 2.0 per cent of the Eastern Metropolitan Region dwellings, and 3.5 per cent of dwellings across all 31 metropolitan Melbourne Local Government Areas.
This has been made worse by the loss of 88 public housing (DHHS-owned) units between 2006 and 2015, which includes the loss of 20 units in Bills Street, Hawthorn.
The Victorian Government’s proposal to increase public housing at Markham Estate by six units in exchange for 188 private dwellings is not right. What we want is the right balance and mix of private and public housing. Public housing should not be short-changed with an excessive number of private units.
The current plans for Markham Estate will accommodate less people than were accommodated in the old estate. There is also inequity between the haves and the have nots in the current plans. Why is it that the public housing component of the development has only half a car park per dwelling, where private dwellings have multiple car parks?
The current plans don’t even comply with the Minister’s own newly released guidelines for new apartments. The Minister has instructed Places Victoria to revise the plans and has undertaken to show Council and the community revised plans soon. We would be happy to share these with the VPTA.
Council wants to work with the Victorian Government to deliver a process and project that can truly be a demonstration of a collaborative approach and best practice design that provides much-needed public housing and the best outcome for our community.
Cr Phillip Healey, Mayor
Cr Garry Thompson, Solway Ward Councillor