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Pro-bono

Battle 4 Waterloo

about

Waterloo Public Housing Action Group

WPHAG is an independent, tenant led community action group for Waterloo Public Housing Estate negotiating for fair treatment of our community of public housing tenants before, during and after the redevelopment

website

situation

Sudden Eviction

On 15th December 2015, the residents of Waterloo Public Housing Estate received a letter from the NSW State Government informing them about the "exciting" redevelopment of the Waterloo Estate. Suffice it to say the residents themselves were caught off guard and not at all "excited" about the turn of events. The residents decided to mobilise themselves to fight against the demolition of their homes and quickly formed the Waterloo Public Housing Action Group.

This group has been instrumental in negotiating with the State Government to listen to the concerns of the residents, to ensure the needs of the vulnerable public housing tenants are met, and to advocate for a better overall outcome for the future of their community.

WPHAG was supported by a passionate team of volunteer academics, professionals, and students.

support

Advocacy & Capacity Building

We formed part of the WPHAG advisory team of volunteers from 2017 to 2021, whose role was to support WPHAG and the residents of Waterloo Public Housing Estate in their advocacy and negotiation activities.

The residents struggled to understand the jargon and convoluted diagrams in the official documents, and we're unable to provide informed feedback on the future of their community.

We provided support to WPHAG by:

  • summarising official documents into plain English and easy-to-understand graphics to help the residents understand the redevelopment plans
  • organising capacity building workshops on design and architecture so resident's can better advocate for their needs
  • collating residents' questions and requests into a consolidated report to submit to the State Government

impact

Amplifying their Voice

WPHAG's advocacy activities and fierce negotiation were instrumental in amplifying the voices of the public housing community, as well as keeping them up-to-date and informed on the most recent developments to the plans.

Some critical changes that WPHAG was able to negotiate for included:

  • the release of more detailed plans and an official statement from the State Government following the release of a bare-bones Waterloo Redevelopment Brochure
  • a commitment to provide ground-level community gardens in the redevelopment, instead of roof-top gardens
  • mobilising the resident community to advocate for the City of Sydney's alternative master plan to be considered over the LAHC preferred master plan

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