Thursday, November 29, 2007

DH's Housing Policy Shopping List


  • Reversing the Howard Government's removal of $3 billion from the public housing system into the pockets of private landlords via inflationary rental subsidies
  • Following the advice of organisations like Shelter and ACOSS to reduce rental stress across the board and ease the pressure on public housing


Keep up the Good Work

  • Environment
    DOH has very impressive plans for upgrading old stock and implementing regular maintenance programs, and for building new stock to sustainable standards
  • Transfer to Community Housing
    Proceeding apace and despite misgivings of old lefties promises to decentralise DOH and provide more flexible and responsive housing options

Local Department of Housing Offices


Only God and Schrodinger know what goes on inside the black box known as your average NSW Department of Housing Local Office. Is there an administrative system in there, or just some kind of cat that, at any given moment, may be alive or dead?

The remaining notes are accordingly speculative only...

So far, the cat must be more or less alive, because everytime the box is pried open (the only way is to complain to your local member), there appears to be some feeble thumping in response but it all soon dies down again ...

  • Communications

    We can deduce that there is some kind of primitive communications going on in there because rent arrears precipitate an instant response. Sadly, every other form of communication from the outside world is directly funnelled into the Bermuda Triangle, which we now know hovers over DOH Broadway, and is never heard of again. There has to be a better way than post-it notes!

    DOH could try keeping tenants in the loop. Should avoid making grand promises like the 20 day maintenance guarantee, as disappointment does tend to set in after the first 6 months. And in official correspondence should attempt to sound less like Miss Dorothea McGillicuddy, DH's old Head Mistress, whose disciplinary style went out with Queen Victoria.
  • Performance
    Acesss to the league table of maintenance backlogs by local office would be a great step towards accountability. We know DOH has them. What are they doing with them?
  • Investment in administrative support
    Perhaps it's not Schrodinger's Cat in the Broadway Black Box, but a couple of Schrodinger's Chooks-with-Their-Heads-Chopped-off? The quality of output suggests understaffing and administrative mayhem.
  • Tenant Participation
    There's a long way to go. For instance, a person not entirely unknown to DH, found herself propelled to the heady heights of representative of all the public housing tenants in a large section of the inner city, without a single soul having voted for her, her neighbours hating her, and noone else so much as ever having sighted her. All because she accidentally sleepwalked into the general election and there was noone else there.
  • Safety and Security of Tenants
    A political minefield. More on this later.

.... that's it for now. More bright ideas following

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