Thursday, February 2, 2017

Millers Point ... time to reflect

From Friends of Millers Point website

The start of a new year allows time to reflect upon what has gone before us. Here are two great references to earlier days in The Rocks and Millers Point.

Harvey Volke was awarded a posthumous Master of Philosophy from the University of Sydney following his unexpected death in 2005. He was very active in both Shelter NSW and the Tenants' Union of NSW. The first chapter in his Master's thesis looks at The Rocks and Millers Point in the years 1900 to 1939. Volke concludes:
This early experiment in public housing in New South Wales was clearly not very extensive, nor was it entirely satisfactory. A key reason for this is that it may well have been placed in the wrong hands.
Volke provides fabulous documentation. His thesis also looks at Daceyville and Erskineville. Read his thesis here.

And for a look at more recent times, one can’t go past Housing NSW, 'Millers Point Oral History Project: Summary Report', 2007, written by Frank Heimans for Housing NSW. Here you read:
Millers Point … has a very integrated community who love living there and have a sense of belonging and allegiance to the place. … The residents have a rich reservoir of memories of living at the Point, going, in some cases, as far back as six generations. They were born, worked, lived and died in the houses at Millers Point. They also have a strong sense of history and heritage. It’s a community within a community where everyone knew each other through work and place of living.
This publication was removed from the Housing NSW website around the time that the sale of all social housing in Millers Point was announced, but it remains in the public domain here.

And now to the present … 2017 commences with Gladys Berejiklian, our new Premier, reviewing some of the Baird government's more contentious policies. Read about this here. One decision that she also should revisit is the sale of all social housing stock in Millers Point. It is not too late to retain some of Millers Point and the Sirius Building for social housing, so that Millers Point remains a mixed community and not a ghetto for the wealthy.

Here’s an update for February 2017 on what is happening with the sales program and the social housing tenants being relocated. We update the previous blog.

McGrath has commenced 2017 year’s sales with 6 blocks each comprising 4 units that provide a selection of 2 and 3 bedrooms. The 6 blocks are 38 to 40A and 50 to 68A High Street. The price guide for each block is $4,800,000. For more information, check the media release here and McGrath’s website here

At the meeting of Millers Point Estates Advisory Board on 1 February 2017 Family & Community Services Housing NSW reported:
  • 399 tenancies in the portfolio. 
  • 368 have been vacated. 
  • Of the 31 remaining tenancies (numbering 43 tenant and household members) to be relocated: 
    • 8 (numbering 10 tenant and household members) are from FACS Housing NSW and involve 2 approved for moving into alternative accommodation within Millers Point and 6 approved for moving outside of Millers Point. 
    • 21 (numbering 30 tenant and household members) are from FACS Housing NSW and remain unallocated 
    • 2 (numbering 3 tenant and household members) are from Little Real Estate and remain unallocated. 
  • 4 of the 31 remaining tenancies (covering 6 tenant and household members) are in the Sirius Building and of these: 
    • involves 1 approved for moving into alternative accommodation outside of Millers Point. 
    • 3 remain unallocated. 
  • 28 properties in Millers Point were set aside for remaining tenants and household members. Of these, 12 are occupied by 11 tenancies, 2 are unoccupied but allocated, 5 are unoccupied but holding pending decision and 9 remain unallocated. 
At the beginning of the process 579 tenant and household members were to be relocated. Altogether 546 tenant and household members have either vacated or are committed to moving, with a further 33 still uncommitted to moving.

You will recall that, in the first half of 2016, Family and Community Services (FACS) Housing commenced making two formal offers to those residents who remained. If tenants refused these offers, they had the option of appealing to the Housing Appeals Committee (HAC) for a recommendation that such offers were unreasonable. FACS Housing is not bound by HAC's recommendation.

Where the tenant refuses formal offers which are deemed reasonable by FACS Housing, then FACS Housing must follow the process set out under Sections 148 to 151 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010. These sections are read together with the procedure approved by the Minister which may be found on FACS Housing website here. You will find a summary of this process here.
The Tenants Union of NSW understands that, as of mid- February 2017, a number of 'Notices of intention to issue a Notice of Termination' have been issued. Once this process has been set in motion, the subsequent steps set out in the procedure approved by the Minister follow within a short period of time.

[Updated 14 February 2017]

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