An opinion from an anonymous Rioter about the costs of the new rail on Northbourne:
When I first moved to Canberra approximately 22 years ago I was told there was a housing shortage due to the high demand for low income housing in Canberra.Then the fires took 400+ houses. Then the wave of people from….
I have been lucky enough to have found out about a meeting held at Havelock House last night,for the Housing residents along Northbourne. I don’t know if it was poorly advertised or if the people in question believe as one man stated ,“ We don’t have a choice”? It was poorly attended. This meeting was to discuss the development of housing along the route of the train that is planned to run from Gungahlin to Civic. Straight up Northbourne. It seems that the rail project is so expensive that the area around it must be made new and very high density to bring the people who will then use the rail. These are off course moneyed people. Eight stories high.
The low income are to be swept out and relocated. “Taking into account their needs and taking into account our housing supply- where possible”. “They will have a dedicated housing manager to help and liaise with for their individual needs.” This is what all those who have gotten housing and are waiting for housing have been told from the start. The process doesn’t seem to work but for over 20 years it has been said.
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22 years ago, with three children. I moved to a refuge in Canberra from a refuge in N.S.W. (Domestic Violence). I then got moved to a half way house as I waited for housing to find me a place. I was pushed out of this house as my time was up. Havelock House was suggested. I asked Housing is I could move there and stay on the priority list? This was fine until a week after we moved in. I have had the joy of living in close quarters to druggies/ drunks and the list goes on, as housing refused to move me. I have had the joy of a taxi ride home while listening to the driver bag out the woman who had put those lovely children in that situation of her own choice.
About three years ago I had need of housing in the A.C.T. again (desperate again). I had to get an advocate just to start the ball rolling. I had to push the point and take my appeals to the door of the Lawyers to get the place I now live in. All this was done to be close to one of my children and one grand child. I even had to live through having my advocate tell me at one point housing were claiming I didn’t need a place as I already had one. I was supposedly paying $10 per week for it while I was incarcerated. I never found out where. The terms of my incarceration were very agreeable though. It is only funny now it is over, scary as to what hope it leaves me for keeping close to my family though with this new upheaval.
If you choose to move now you join the housing que and are housed as they can at your cost. If you leave it till you have to move you will get put where they can find a spot (What if they can’t?), but they will pay for the move. They claim to be unable to house those on the waiting list now. What is going to happen when 400+ more people join that list and the new people come along and join up.
Who in this group of people has the right to say no? Some have lived in these houses for 30+ years. Some like myself have just moved in,(housing did not tell me this was happening or I would not have signed on and wasted the last of my money and strength moving in.) How many more are being moved into this area as we speak, through no choice of their own? These people have no voice and a large number are too beaten down to try and speak up any way.
Who is going to speak for them or are we just going to look the other way and then complain about the people sitting out side of Woolies and the growing violence that is coming if this is not addressed in a caring way. What price progress?? Where are anyone’s human rights let alone services in this sweep up for progress?