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Fight for better homes for these residents

Published: 9 July 2020

Many people were shocked at the sudden lockdown of those in public housing towers. The "effective immediately" was hard to fathom (although less so now, with so many Melburnians fleeing on Wednesday to spread coronavirus to regional Victoria).

Like many, I have been heartened and appalled by responses from the community for these residents. Heartened by the outpouring of support, both emotional and practical, appalled at some of the ways this was expressed. I was not shocked that these living conditions enabled the spread of COVID-19. Where were the preventative health measures for people in these towers?

I grew up in housing commission (as it was called then), and am very familiar with the long history of neglect of both the infrastructure and the people who live there. The prejudice is difficult to live with. (How can a television program like SBS’s Housos be allowed?)

For those who have expressed outrage in this past week, hang on to it and channel this into advocacy for improved conditions and increased stock of public housing. Do not just forget, or move on to the next protest. Make this week mean something.

Christine Craik, Australian Association of Social Workers

Published in Letters to the Editor in The Age.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers