Barr government’s urban renewal leads to ‘accidental’ gentrification of Canberra

The Barr government’s urban renewal program may be “accidentally” leading to gentrification of Canberra’s city, pushing public housing tenants to areas with less amenity, the community sector says.

But ACT Council of Social Services’ executive director Susan Helyer said she did not believe the government was intentionally trying to push hundreds of public housing tenants out of the city.

Since 2014, the government has been overhauling Canberra’s public housing stock by demolishing large long-term public housing blocks in an “urban renewal precinct” along the Northbourne Avenue and in the city.

Those blocks have largely already been sold off to private developers, which are redeveloping the land to house multi-storey apartment buildings, while the tenants are being moved to newer, smaller public housing lots across the city.

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