VIDEO - Stephen Jolly addresses Atherton Gardens public housing protest

Stephen JollyResidents of Fitzroy’s massive Atherton Gardens public housing estate rallied, marched, and then occupied the local office of the Housing Department on Brunswick St.

Residents of Fitzroy’s massive Atherton Gardens public housing estate rallied, marched, and then occupied the local office of the Housing Department on Brunswick St.

The rally was organised by their resident association, AGRA and was also attended by supporters of public housing including Victorian Socialists.

Residents are angry that the department is planning on spending thousands of dollars on murals for the walls of the four towers, while ignoring the more immediate issues such as broken lifts, cookers, lack of car parking and more. The Housing Department manager has refused to meet with the elected leaders of AGRA to discuss resident concerns – and this was the trigger for the action today.

The department office was packed with occupying locals – from young children to the elderly – in a display of working class unity across dozens of backgrounds eg Vietnamese, Chinese, Sudanese, South Sudanese, Somalian, Albanian and Anglo-Australian.