Rally in Glebe on October 25. Source: CPA

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By Chris Sutton

A rally was held on the 25th of October in Glebe to call for a major increase in spending on public housing and maintenance.

A new NSW Council of Social Service (NSWCOSS) report revealed that NSW has the highest poverty rate of any state (14.6 percent) as public house waiting lists grow. The Cowper Street site is an example of vacant land not being utilised, as 56 percent of eligible people are missing out.

Denis Doherty, spokesperson from community group Hands off Glebe, believes the NSW government must turn their attention to the issue.

“Hands off Glebe asks why the Baird Government can’t build new public housing on the site in Glebe bounded by Bay and Cowper Streets. Following demolition of good homes and the loss of a community, trees, gardens and birds, the site has remained vacant for four years.”

Mr Doherty blames the Baird government for poor decision making and a lack of care.

“It has become painfully clear that the Baird Government does not care about public and affordable housing.“

“Instead they are running down public housing with sell offs, demolitions and evictions while the housing crisis deepens.”

The average waiting time for families on the public housing waiting list is 4 years. In some cases people are waiting up to 10 years for placement.

“Hands off Glebe has been campaigning for this site to remain devoted to public and affordable housing but the Government continues to ignore our demands.”

“We feel it’s time to take more action to bring attention to public housing. We do not intend to drop off our campaign any time soon,” said Mr Doherty.

The rally took place on the corner of Bay and Wentworth Streets, where Greens MP Jamie Parker and ALP candidate Verity Firth made speeches.