Friday, November 19, 2010

B-b-but I'm a middle-class granny...

Or, from pillar of respectability to homeless old harridan in just 6 weeks. 

Try it yourself. Stare for a while
and this middle-class matron
will turn into a
homeless old harridan

You don't have to have an honours degree in Sociology* to figure out why the face of homelessness is looking more female and wrinkly.

Women still earn less than men. Our careers are often interrupted by child-rearing and caring, thus our earning capacity is further lowered. Single women in rented accommodation have very little left over for savings. 

If we're over 50 and lose our jobs, our chances of re-employment can be computed by an algorithm involving Buckley's times the number of snowflakes in hell less our chances of marrying a terrorist trying to hijack our bus to Centrelink.  

With Newstart set at an appalling $235 a week, it's not long before we're in rent arrears. After just 2 weeks rent arrears, (unless our landlord is some kind of bleedin' heart traitor to their class), there'll be a termination notice in the mail. It's possible to hang on for a another couple of weeks by appealing to the CTTT (the Tribunal), but if you can't demonstrate your ability to pay up, you're out on your ear, old dear!

Nice way to treat the nation's mothers! And that's just if you are a mother. If not, you won't even be able to experience the joy of couch-surfing at the kids' place trying not to look like a mother-in-law joke.

* Of course, if you particularly want to be an older unemployed person, DH can certainly recommend an  honours degree in sociology. That's exactly how she got where she is today.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

BMW cavalcade to escort Tripodi from parliament

If like DH, you own a black BMW, join her in a cavalcade to escort ex-Housing Minister, Joe Tripodi, from Parliament and make sure he never returns. Please spread the word to all the other BMW owners on the estate.
In 2005, Tripodi presided over the disastrous "Reshaping Public Housing" policy, engineered by Ben Keneally, Kristina's husband, which increased the stigma and ghettoisation of public housing by further concentrating disadvantage, by dumping more mentally ill people in public housing, when the necessary supports were not, (and are still not*!)  in place. By way of amelioration, it was a response to John Howard's cutting a couple of $ billion from the then Commonwealth State Housing Agreement which funded public housing, and putting it into the pockets of private landlords via rental assistance, thus increasing inflation, and contributing to the current housing crisis.*

Whatever the exigencies were that created the policy, what was galling was the gutter tactics Tripodi resorted to in order to sell it to the NSW public. He chose to attack the public housing tenants who were under his protection, by the famous claim that the car parks of public housing estates were full of BMW's. This started a trend then trumpeted by every right-wing Housing Minister thereafter: his hapless proteges Cherie Burton and Matt Brown. See The BMW's that ate Public Housing in the SMH for more.

It fell to David Borger, who had a genuine vision for urban regeneration, to begin to undo the shoddy work and it was pleasing to note that the BMW claims have not resurfaced since.

* Worried am only the faceless man's nameless troll. Must get facts right! Rental assistance begun by Hawke govt. Labor used to claim that Howard ripped $3 billion out of CSHA over 10 years. Later the figure quoted became a mere $1 billion. Am settling for a fuzzy "couple" of billion. DH.