One of the advantages of working in an organisation across a range of different services and communities is the opportunity to join the dots across a range of issues.
The inner city building boom is constructing the homes people will occupy for decades to come. But will they more easily accommodate the aged and less able, and be easily modified to allow people to live in their homes as circumstances change? Or will they recreate the problems of the past?
In Millers Point some public tenants are being removed from heritage homes because their homes have stairs and are expensive to maintain and modify. Public housing built in the last few years, such as Walker Street Redfern, still has stair access to their entrances and the section for the aged has obstacles that stop tenants in wheelchairs enjoying their balconies.
Accessibility is not just about homes for those with a disability, injury or frailty; it is also about how they can visit their friends and family. It is about places that are suitable for all people at all stages of life. Stairs provide the same obstacle to the parent loaded down with shopping and a pram as they do to the wheelchair or the wheeler. So coinciding with the inaugural Australian Universal Design Conference we explore Universal Design: Creating inclusion for everyone..
Also joining the dots, whether you are interested in how service needs are likely to change or where all the new houses are going to go, is The changing face of the Inner City: Population and Household Projections which explores the inner Sydney population projections to 2031 and the methodology behind them.
Community, resident, heritage and environment groups have also joined the dots in an attempt to define more clearly what these groups want from the planning system. You can read about this Planning for People Charter that ISRCSD helped produce in Planning for People – A Community Charter for Good Planning in NSW.
Two articles grow out of our ongoing Millers Point concerns. We explore the Choice Based Letting process being used and the differences between the US and Australian social housing in From Public Housing to Vouchers: An American Perspective.
We also explain the Neighbourhood Advisory Boards (NABs) that function in the inner city in NABs: Giving Public Tenants a Voice. This includes case studies on the establishment of the first NABs in Redfern and Waterloo and of a great community outcome from the Woolloomooloo NAB.
Shane Brown has a long history in youth work. His article on Stopping Burnout is relevant to community organisations, workers and volunteers.
In this issue we also remember the contribution to ISRCSD, Redfern Waterloo and the community more broadly of Bishop John McIntyre in Valé John Mac.
Charmaine Jones explores the tensions in Community Drug Action Teams – Condone or condemn? and also provides an overview of the publisher of Inner Sydney Voice in What is Inner Sydney Regional Council?
In Eveleigh Plans – One from the Vault 1979 we revisit Eveleigh Plans from 35 years ago in light of the latest UrbanGrowth NSW Central to Eveleigh Concept Plan.
Charmaine Jones & Geoff Turnbull,
Co-editors Inner Sydney Regional Council for Social Development