330 properties have been vacated out of the 399 properties in the the portfolio. Of the 69 remaining tenancies to be relocated, 61 are from FACS Housing NSW, 1 from Bridge Housing, 6 from Little Real Estate and 1 being a Lower Fort Street property. 7 tenants remain in the Sirius Building. 11 FACS Housing NSW and 1 Bridge tenant have been approved to move into 13 of the 28 properties in Millers Point set aside for existing residents. (Two adjoining properties will constitute one tenancy.) No decision has been made regarding the balance of 15 properties here and it may be possible to house families by opening walls of adjacent properties. 57 tenants are still to be rehoused.
All offers of alternative accommodation to remaining tenants are now formal offers, with the exception that informal offers may be made for housing not in the preferred areas nominated by the residents. A current example is three new complexes at Narraweena on the Northern Beaches. Each tenant will be made a first offer and have 7 days to make a decision. They can apply to the Housing Appeals Committee if they believe that the offer is unreasonable. The Housing Appeals Committee will decide whether that offer is reasonable. They will be given a second offer and again have seven days to make a decision. Again, they may apply to the Housing Appeals Committee if they believe that the offer is unreasonable. If they refuse both offers, then FACS Housing NSW will have to make a decision on whether to serve a ‘Notice of intention to serve a notice of termination’. All offers will be in those Allocations Zones (not necessarily the suburb) nominated by the tenant and they will go out of their way to make it the best possible place. Where a tenant is not engaging with the process, then FACS Housing NSW will look at their file and make a formal offer of what they consider is the best one for that tenant.
(Report by Family & Community Services Housing NSW at the Millers Point Estates Advisory Board meeting on Wednesday, 11 May 2016, with thanks to Robert Mowbray for recording.)
Joe is the only resident in this photo who is safe. Mary Vo has been coerced into leaving. Others fear what the future holds.
Joe has accepted one of the flats being refurbished in Millers Point. Everyone is very pleased for him.
Members of the Relocation Team make appointments with Myra but do not turn up. Myra was allocated one of the Millers Point flats being refurbished, and although she was told it was suitable for her, its dangerous entry would almost certainly have resulted in another fall. She had no alternative and refused the offer. The other available flats were unsuitable as she cannot negotiate stairs. If she is forced to leave the area, her independent life will be over.
Mary Vo is being forced out. It appears she was coerced into signing an agreement to move to an area where she knows nobody and where she will be entirely isolated. She will not be allowed to return to live in Millers Point. She is bewildered and upset.
Flo and Geraldine remain in their homes. Both have said they will move to suitable accommodation elsewhere in the area, but none has been offered. Both have offered to move to Sirius where there are modest units without views in which many members of the Millers Point community could be accommodated.
Re-establishing Sirius to accommodate a mixed community in which the more valuable units are sold and others are used for social and public housing is a solution the NSW Government has not yet discussed with the community. Brad Hazzard has said the government wants the 79 units of Sirius replaced by 250 luxury units which would dominate the Harbour Bridge and Opera House as the only high-rise building in The Rocks. It’s time to back away from this ill-conceived plan and look for a real solution for Sirius and the Millers Point community.