The Guardian • Issue #2058

Housing activists unite for public housing

Housing rally.

CPA members in Sydney attended the Homes for People, Not for Profit: End the Housing Crisis rally on 17th June in support of public housing residents fighting against demolition.

The rally featured several speakers raising awareness on the housing crisis and the state government’s lacklustre approach to improving conditions for private renters and public housing tenants.

Speakers included public housing residents, students, as well as organisers from Action for Public Housing and the Anti-Poverty Centre.

CPA member Skye who attended said the rally was a great way for people to come together on the issue.

“The CPA has long campaigned for the protection and expansion of public housing, and it is great to see the broader left taking up the cause at this rally,” they said.

“It has long been time to build a united front campaign around public housing, and we have seen that the groundwork has now been laid to do so. With hard work, we will be able to build this rally into a significant movement in defence of the right of the working class to high quality housing.”

Nick, another CPA member at the rally echoed the strength of united front work and added the importance of bringing the broader community with the movement.

“It’s good to see united front work but we need to ensure our message is getting through to the community and bringing fellow activists and workers into the struggle,” he said.

“Everyone involved is doing great work, and as protections for public housing gain more support it’s important that we keep messages clear and accessible to the broader community; public housing is not for sale and social housing is not an adequate replacement of the state’s duty to house people.”

In recent news, the NSW Labor government stated they would not proceed with the redevelopment of the Franklyn Street Estate in the Inner-Sydney suburb of Glebe. However, community groups have their eyes closely guarding the proposed demolition and redevelopment of the Wentworth Park Road public housing also in Glebe.

Action for Public Housing is rallying against the demolition, and has called Minister for Housing, Rose Jackson’s support of it “disappointing.” They are instead calling for new public housing to be built on vacant land.

As disputes over public housing rage on, the state government faces battles in the private rental market, and the federal Albanese government is facing friction with the Greens on its Housing Affordability Future Fund Bill.

Across the board, Australia is seeing roadblock after roadblock in attempts for reform and improving the national housing crisis. Now, as ever, there is an abundance of evidence continuing to show the flaws of capitalist economics.

While landlords are hiking rents, and the state government continues neglect of existing public housing stock and refuses to build further stock, people are being pushed further into rental stress, difficult living situations, and homelessness.

As the movement grows to defend public housing and improve housing situations nationwide, members of the Communist Party of Australia need to engage in building a mass movement.

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