Are you frustrated about the lack of affordable housing?
Are you sick of ever rising rents in Private Housing -
Or rents that are just far too high in Public Housing?
Well, it’s time we do something about it!
Let’s fight for a major increase in truly affordable rental housing which will in turn drive down rents everywhere!
Let’s Rally to Demand:
SLASH RENTS IN PUBLIC HOUSING
MASSIVELY INCREASE PUBLIC HOUSING
That’s What China Is Doing &
We Want The Same Here
RALLY 5PM, THURSDAY FEBRUARY 16
Endorsed by: Social Justice Network and Trotskyist Platform
Many of us are paying well over a third and sometimes even up to half of our income on rents.
In the meantime, over 100,000 people in this country are currently homeless.
The lack of affordable housing is hurting working class people the most. Aboriginal people,
African, Asian, Pacific and Middle Eastern migrants, the unemployed and single mothers are all
especially facing difficulties in securing accommodation that they can afford.
There is just not enough affordable, low rent housing being made available. Public housing
continues to be sold off and the waiting list for it continues to be huge. Some people have been
on the waiting list for over ten years! And when you go to try and rent any cheaper private
housing that is available, there are typically dozens of other people also trying to apply for the
very same dwelling. Landlords know all this and that is why they can get away with constantly
putting up rents and treating tenants with contempt.
The problem is that both federal and state governments are privatising public housing rather
than making more of it available. In the meantime, greedy real estate developers know that
they can make a lot more money by building expensive houses for the rich rather than
affordable houses for the working class. This is all compounded by tax incentives that
encourage the affluent to speculate on housing, thus continually driving house prices up and
However, in Australia’s biggest trading partner, China, the state is taking a very different
approach. To curb speculation there and ensure that housing is built for the masses and not
just for the rich, China has banned urban families from buying more than two homes. Furthermore, to discourage families from buying even a second house, those that do so are only allowed to get a bank loan for 40% of the house price (see Capitalist media winge about China's restriction on the wealthy speculating on property ).
Most importantly, bucking the global drive towards ever more draconian “neo-liberal” policies,
the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) has embarked on a spectacular campaign to build social housing. This year alone, the PRC has begun the construction of well over 10 million affordable
housing dwellings – mostly public housing rental units(see: Western media grudgingly report on China's public rental housing program ). To put this in perspective, one Chinese city alone, the municipality of Chongqing, started the construction of 528,000 social housing dwellings in just the first 10 months of 2011. That is approaching twice of Australia’s entire stock of public housing! (see Chongqing public housing )
As a result, by the end of next year one in three people in Chongqing will live in public rental
housing as opposed to just one in 25 people here in Australia. Not only do low income people in
Chongqing get access to public housing but so too do all workers from outside the city who
come there to work, as well as new graduates from technical schools (a Chinese version of
TAFE) and universities that land a job. What is more, the rent that tenants have to pay in
China’s public housing is a lower proportion of people’s income than public housing tenants in
Australia have to pay.
Yet Australia has far, far greater resources for the size of its population than China does. So if
the Peoples Republic of China’s state is providing its masses with such access to low rent public housing, we demand the same here. Let’s get organised to struggle for this demand!