Public housing

Brighton social housing shouldn’t be on suburban ‘best street’: Liberal MP Wendy Lovell

The remarks were widely condemned by the Andrews government, with Housing Minister Richard Wynne calling on Ms Lovell to apologise.

“The comments by Wendy Lovell, a former housing minister, are absolutely shameful. She should have done the right thing and walked into Parliament today, apologized and unreservedly recanted – and she didn’t,’ Mr Wynne said. age.

What Wendy Lovell said

“There is no point putting a very low income family, probably on welfare, on the best street in Brighton where the children cannot mingle with others or go to school with other children or where they don’t have the same ability to have the latest sneakers and iPhones.

“We need to make sure that people can really fit into a neighborhood, that they have a good life and that people don’t stigmatize them because of their situation.”

“To suggest that low-income people are denied the right to be housed in quality and appropriate environments in high-quality, seven-star housing built as part of the Big Housing Build is an absolute disgrace.”

Mr Wynne pointed out that the council housing being built in Brighton replaced a pre-existing council housing block of 127 walk-up flats.

The New Street property will be rebuilt, as part of the $5.3 billion housing grand, into 299 homes, including 151 social housing and 136 affordable housing.

Cory Memery, who lives in a Carlton housing estate and founded the Public Housing Residents Network, called Ms Lovell’s comments cruel and insulting and said public housing should be in every neighborhood.

“Anyone can become homeless and in need of accommodation, even residents of Brighton,” Mr Memery said.

“Public accommodation in Brighton will actually make it more inclusive and vibrant instead of dull, dull and elitist [place] that it is now.

The Victorian Council of Social Service said in its 2018 report Every suburb, every town that 1,500 people in Brighton, or 9% of suburban residents lived in poverty.

Mr. Memery asked if Ms. Lovell believed that those 1,500 people should be uprooted.

Independent Bayside Mayor Alex del Porto said the local government area has excellent services and connections, making it “an ideal location for low-income residents who want to live close to work, their family and existing community ties”.

“We are committed to creating a community where everyone feels welcome and valued, which includes finding better outcomes in social and affordable housing to strengthen social inclusion. »

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews called the comments by Ms Lovell, who owns three properties, according to her register of interests, shameful.

“I reject in the clearest terms the Liberal Party’s view that the poor should stay poor and the poor should be kept out. It’s wrong, it’s fundamentally wrong,” Mr Andrews said.

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He said Mr Guy had made ‘pathetic attempts to explain this’ by claiming Ms Lovell meant well. “No, she didn’t. She doesn’t mean well at all,’ Mr Andrews said.

On Wednesday, Labor MP Mark Gepp, who grew up in council housing, responded to Ms Lovell’s “shameful bloody” comments in Parliament on Wednesday.

“Your position on the socio-economic scale should in no way determine your participation in this society,” Mr. Gepp said.

Victoria Greens leader Samantha Ratnam said: ‘Ms Lovell’s comments were offensive and perpetuated wrong stereotypes. The reality is that our social housing communities are all of us.

There were 54,587 households on the housing waiting list at the end of last year.

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