Keeping essential services workers in Sydney

When high school English teacher Victor realised he and his wife could no longer afford to live where they worked, he had a moment where he considered going into private education.

“I could have gone into the private system where the pay is potentially higher, but I’ve made an ethical choice not to,” Victor says.

For 12 years, Victor and his family had watched as their inner-city rents climbed steadily upwards.

“Year upon year, there were increases [in rent], but there was no apparent reason why. It was almost as though that was just an automatic increase built into the system; it just kept climbing and all that we were told was that it was in line with expectations for the area. Our rent skyrocketed within a decade of us living there,” Victor explained.

By chance, he came across an article on affordable housing.

“There was a story about Clover Moore and how
City of Sydney were sort of engaging in this push for affordable housing. It also said the incentive is for teachers and essential workers like police, teachers, ambulance workers and so on,” Victor recalled.

It was the light at the end of the tunnel.

Victor, his wife and their 15-year-old son now live in a two-bedroom unit on the fifth floor of a CWH building, which has a large balcony, a modern design, gas facilities and a great view. Victor’s son has his own bedroom, which will be an important step for his independence as a young man. But the most significant feature of their new home is the new and affordable rental payment.

For the first time in a long time, Victor feels secure in his rental situation.

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