UWS experts take transnational approach to public housing


Date: 27/04/2009

The parallels between low income and subsidised housing in Australia and the United States have led housing specialists in Sydney and Chicago to take a collaborative approach to the problems associated with public housing in both nations.

The UWS Social Justice Social and Change Research Centre (SJSC) has established a research relationship with the Centre for Urban Research and Learning (CURL) at Loyola University, Chicago.

Associate Professor Michael Darcy from SJSC says the aim of the collaboration is to develop a trans-national approach to the problems associated with public housing in both nations.

According to Associate Professor Darcy, there are many parallels between Australia and the United States, and in particular between the cities of Chicago and Sydney.

"Prior to the current housing crisis, Chicago was the most active US city in transforming social housing communities into mixed income neighbourhoods. Similarly, Sydney is in the midst of major renewal of public housing estates in areas of such as Minto and Redfern," says Associate Professor Darcy.

"Also like the United States, Australia has undergone significant leadership changes at the national level, which are largely viewed as an opportunity to enact real and significant changes in social housing policy."

The relationship between SJSC and CURL will focus on utilising the combined experiences of researchers and practitioners to develop a comprehensive understanding of the issues and experiences of living in areas of concentrated public housing.

New technology such as video-conference and the internet has also made it possible to provide affected residents and housing activists the opportunity to share their views and experiences trans-nationally and cast new light on the public housing redevelopment debate.

Ends

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