‘Woeful’ state of affordable housing worsened by political debate

Once again, our politicians are in a stand-off over the redevelopment of a public housing estate—and it’s Victorians in desperate need of a home who are getting caught in the cross-fire.

The upper house is debating whether, for a second time, it should block the redevelopment of the Markham Estate at Ashburton in Melbourne’s east by revoking the planning permission the development requires to proceed.

A group of non-government MPs from across the political spectrum have concerns about the development, albeit for vastly different reasons. But the net result of their opposition would be the same. Blocking the project once again would make it highly unlikely to ever proceed, and also set a dangerous precedent as the government eyes other aging public housing estates to modernise or develop.

Such a move would essentially place a cloud over Victoria’s entire public housing construction program and make it more difficult for future governments to provide housing for Victoria’s most vulnerable.

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