Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Glebe estate: 40 years of public housing

A Brown Couch reader alerts us to a significant anniversary: 40 years ago today the Glebe Lands (Appropriation) Act 1974 (Cth) received assent, and the Commonwealth Government was enabled to complete its purchase of the Glebe estate.

Previously the property of the Anglican Church, the 700 dwellings represented a large part of the low-income housing available in the inner city, and they were in a bad way.

The responsible Minister, Tom Uren, explained the Government's objectives:
The main objectives of the purchase of the estate are to avoid the sudden displacing of the existing population and to avoid any disruption to existing community networks, and to retain the opportunity for low income earners and families and aged people to live close to the city as part of the wider community.... The other main objectives are to improve environmental conditions and social conditions of residents of the estate and surrounding area and to preserve the townscape and sympathetically rehabilitate it.
The Glebe estate was subsequently transferred to the NSW Housing Commission. It remains an important part of the social housing system today.

So should the great and humane objectives set out by Uren.

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