Deni, 20, WA

“I wish the government knew that people don’t live in government housing because we want to, we live in government housing because we have nowhere left to turn and would otherwise end up homeless.

I have lived with my grandparents in government housing my entire life and am grateful that Australia has sufficient infrastructure to support people who need it. But there is a damaging stigma that comes with it, and unfortunately the government perpetuates that stigma by using harmful rhetoric and creating uninformed social housing policy. My grandfather was conscripted to Vietnam over 50 years ago and is one of the many government housing tenants who have a unique personal story. The class divide is only widening and none of us deserve to be reduced solely to an addiction, an economic status, or a disability.

Government housing should be used to empower people at a disadvantage rather than used as a political punching bag.”