Push for more social and affordable housing for Aboriginal people in inner Sydney

Over 20 local community and legal groups, including Redfern Legal Centre, have joined forces as the Redfern Waterloo Alliance of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and Allies to start a campaign for more social and affordable housing. 

Add your voice to the campaign by signing the petition here.

Redfern is, and has been, an important place for Aboriginal people. This is where the Aboriginal civil rights movement began and where many actions for self-determination took place such as the 1938 Day of Mourning, the 1965 Freedom Ride, and the ongoing struggle for land rights.

The founding of services including the Aboriginal Medical Service, Aboriginal Legal Service, Aboriginal Children’s Service, Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, Aboriginal Housing Company, Redfern All Blacks, the Black Theatre Arts & Culture Centre, Wyanga Aboriginal Aged Care and Mudgin-Gal Aboriginal Corporation became models for the rest of Australia.

The gentrification of inner Sydney suburbs has meant that historically working-class suburbs such as Redfern and Waterloo have become highly desirable suburbs in the property market. The associated huge increases in rental prices have locked out many Aboriginal people who were previously living in these suburbs in private rentals. Many Aboriginal community members who are in social housing in Redfern and Waterloo continue to live there. Likewise, the Aboriginal services they access are still there. However, many Aboriginal people who grew up there still see this area as their home but can’t afford to rent there. 

Therefore Aboriginal people working in Aboriginal services cannot afford to live in the community where they work. Other Aboriginal people in the area who are starting employment and training on modest incomes also find they have to leave the community due to the cost of living there today.

What is missing is affordable housing for Aboriginal people in Redfern and Waterloo.  

The Alliance seeks a policy response and commitment to targets from the NSW Government to deliver Aboriginal affordable housing on all government-controlled land in the Redfern Waterloo area. 

The Redfern Waterloo Alliance of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations’ campaign for Aboriginal affordable housing in Redfern and Waterloo calls on the NSW government to deliver:

  1. 10% Aboriginal Affordable Housing in all government redevelopments in the Redfern Waterloo area. 
  2. An increase in Aboriginal Social Housing including ensuring that any community housing provider must either be Aboriginal owned and managed or if not, work in partnership with an Aboriginal led organisation.
  3. Aboriginal Jobs and Ongoing Employment Targets for Aboriginal employment and contracts for construction and for Aboriginal employment in the provision of ongoing services in all government redevelopments in the Redfern Waterloo area.

A petition in support of the Redfern Waterloo Aboriginal Affordable Housing Campaign is open for signature here 

See also: https://rlc.org.au/needs-be-priority-push-for-more-aboriginal-housing-inner-sydney