EAST WEST LINK HOMES LANGUISH AMIDST HOMELESSNESS CRISIS
Early this morning a coalition comprising members of the Homeless Persons Union Victoria and Melbourne’s homeless community began demonstrating at a number of empty properties on Bendigo St, Collingwood. The properties are among those that were compulsorily acquired by the former Napthine government for the now defunct East West link.
The demonstration seeks clarification on issues surrounding the ownership, management and occupancy of these empty, publicly-owned properties. The lack of transparency has led to confusion within the homeless community.
Six months ago there were media reports that 20 properties were transferred to the Collingwood Football Club’s ‘Magpie Nest’ program, a partnership with The Salvation Army, to house the homeless. A spokesman from Magpie Nest claims that all properties transferred to their management have been filled.
In light of this, the demonstrators call on those responsible to immediately provide clarification on who owns and manages the remaining empty properties. It is unjustifiable that these dwellings remain unoccupied with a Victorian winter approaching.
There are 35,000+ Victorians on the public housing waiting list, growing at 100 per month. This is while the Andrews government neglects, demolishes and privatises public housing.
Each and every Victorian has a human right to safe, secure and affordable housing.People lose their lives due to medical conditions acquired through being exposed to the elements whilst living rough.
We ask the Andrews government and the Victorian public- is this good enough?
Police have come to eject homelessness activists from vacant government owned houses on Bendigo Street in Collingwood.
Activists are now camped out the front of the property and are demanding to speak to whoever is responsible for the houses.
Earlier, Yarra councillor Steve Jolly came down to show support, and advised he’d done a title search and confirmed the empty houses are government owned.
(via Kieran’s Review)
30.03.16: The action is continuing, house number 18 has been successfully occupied. Police are no longer present. A public meeting will be taking place at the protest site tomorrow (31.03.16) at 6:30PM.