NSW Government responds to our latest CurtiseCall Special Report on Gentrification

November 28th, 2017

The NSW Government has an issue with our latest CurtiseCall “Gentrification: What it means for Sydney property buyers”.

Following publication of this CurtiseCall, we were contacted by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services which led to the following round of communication. The Department has not responded to our questions – a silence reinforcing the points made in our article and suggesting Professor Pawson is right when he refers to … “lower income people pushed to the edges.”


From: Media Unit
Sent: Friday, 17 November 2017 11:16 AM
To: Chris Curtis Cc: Media Unit
Subject: RE: Gentrification: What it means for Sydney property buyers

Good morning,

Request for right of reply: Gentrification: What it means for Sydney property buyers

I am writing to address inaccuracies in the above blog post.

The post includes a quote stating: “Historically, in many cities, public housing has prevented total gentrification, because unless you have coercion like in Millers Point [where the government is controversially evicting tenants in order to sell land to private developers], public housing tenants are safe from gentrification,” says Professor Morris.

Tenants in Millers Point are not being evicted. All former Millers Point tenants have been relocated, often to better and more accessible social housing.

The sale of properties in Millers Point, Dawes Point and the Rocks is returning hundreds of millions of dollars back into more social housing.

Proceeds from the sales have already funded over 1,000 new homes in areas of NSW where social housing is desperately needed. This means the sale of each property in Millers Point, Dawes Point and the Rocks pays for nearly five new homes in greater Sydney and regional areas.

Maintenance of ageing public housing properties in Millers Point and The Rocks cost more than four times the average for public housing dwellings in NSW, making the benefits of new, purpose-built homes clear. We would be grateful if the above could be reflected in the post.

Regards, Tom

Tom Webster | Media Officer Department of Family and Community Services
T 02 9716 2202 E Tom.Webster@facs.nsw.gov.au A Ground Floor, 223-239 Liverpool Road, Ashfield NSW 2131 W www.facs.nsw.gov.au 24 hour media line: (02) 9716 2804


From: Chris Curtis Sent: Friday, 17 November 2017 2:21 PM
To: ‘Media Unit’
Subject: RE: Gentrification: What it means for Sydney property buyers

Good afternoon Tom

Thank you for your request and the Department’s interest in our article.

With respect and as you would know, we are hardly the first to use “evicted” as this sample of links shows:

http://www.news.com.au/finance/real-estate/buying/first-of-many-residents-to-be-evicted-from-millers-point-homes-and-removed-by-police/news-story/ca3075a81ce8e5c026d5f25306036c36

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-09/man-evicted-from-millers-point-has-job-and-owns-property/8511306

http://www.skynews.com.au/news/national/nsw/2017/07/07/millers-point-housing-residents-forced-out.html

http://millerspointcommunity.com.au/government-moves-evict-residents/

That said, in the interest of balance and the public interest, we are considering a postscript providing the Department with a reply including its responses to these questions:

•  Does the Department accept that for many Millers Point tenants, this was a forced relocation?
• If so, is a forced relocation not a euphemism for being “evicted”?
•  If not, why not?
•  To where have “[A]ll former Millers Point tenants…been relocated”? (In other words, please identify all such suburbs and/or regions).
•  Why, exactly, does the Department apparently believe that for those tenants the social housing to which they have been relocated is “often”:
– “better” and better than what?
– “more accessible” and to what?
•  How “often” ?

Yours sincerely

Chris Curtis
BA LLB, AAPI Certified Property Practitioner Managing Director


From: Chris Curtis
Sent: Thursday, 23 November 2017 4:56 PM
To: ‘Media Unit’
Subject: RE: Gentrification: What it means for Sydney property buyers

Good Afternoon Tom

This is to advise that if the Department intends to respond to the questions asked in my 17 November 2017 email, it should do so by 5 pm tomorrow after which time, we will publish the text of that email, of your email to us of the same date and this email.

The Department is therefore given this further opportunity to respond by that deadline.

Chris Curtis
BA LLB, AAPI Certified Property Practitioner Managing Director