LETTERS 7.2.15

14. 867LETTERSSadly predictable
SO sadly predictable, the knee-jerk reaction to your preview of Adrienne Truscott’s Asking For It (“A funny thing about rape,” Voice, January 17, 2015).
Predictable because in isolated Perth parochial attitudes and tunnel-vision persist, despite expanding awareness brought about by technology’s amazing leaps.
While the pocketful of wealthy can go to and fro on a whim, the vast majority of people born in WA will never afford to travel out of the state or, at best, briefly, for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Before putting incensed pen to paper, how many of the knee-jerkers gave even a fleeting thought to how the Voice might have agonised over the presentation of such a sensitive issue.
On this aspect, of course, the courageous Ed kept his own counsel.
If the show emboldens only one victim to point publicly an enraged finger at a violator, then the show will have achieved its purpose.
For the knee-jerk reactors, a cooling wrap-up: how many rapes will have been perpetrated, without any chance of retribution for the victims, in the time that it has taken to write this offering with, I trust, a considered, objective and sympathetic stance?
Ron Willis
First Ave, Mount Lawley

Let’s co-operate on public housing
WE would like to bring to your attention an alternative model of public housing that few people are aware of.
Rental housing co-operatives offer an affordable, sustainable alternative to both public and private rental housing, with a range of documented benefits to tenants, governments and the broader community. Several already exist within Perth, where they were established with the support of the Department of Housing approximately 25 years ago and have been operating successfully ever since.
A rental housing co-operative can be owned by government, business or private individuals. Once established they are entirely self-managing and economically self-sustaining, operating in accordance with departmental policy and compliance requirements.
Tenants live in separate homes but collectively manage and maintain all buildings, grounds and tenancies themselves, so no external management is required.
All rent paid is pooled and used to cover all operating costs, so no external financial support is required.
Research has consistently shown that being jointly responsible for the management and maintenance of their own housing gives tenants a sense of ownership, responsibility and empowerment. They tend to take pride in their homes and gardens, leading to an enduring sense of community, civic pride and an enhanced streetscape.
The housing co-operative model builds skills, confidence and dignity among tenants. Having secure and affordable accommodation also allows them to focus on their employment and education goals, facilitating their contributing to broader society.
Despite their proven track record in our own community—and the fact that they are a flourishing form of affordable housing in other states and countries— there have been very limited opportunities in WA for the establishment of new rental housing co-operatives or the growth of existing ones in the past 25 years.
Housing co-operatives are an increasingly obvious solution to the housing affordability crisis. They save the government money, enhance the local community and greatly benefit their low-income-earning tenants. They can also successfully co-exist with other types of housing within the same development.
Our approach to the provision and management of affordable housing is very different from that of both government and mainstream community housing providers. It works. It creates communities. And with the current focus on values such as sustainability, community and social responsibility, now is the ideal time to recognise the potential of housing co-operatives to help address the desperate shortage of affordable housing in our community.
Rebecca Hicks
CEO, Co-operation Housing,

HONESTLY my jaw dropped open and I stood there thinking, “really? this is front page material?” (“A funny thing about rape,” Voice, January 17, 2015).
I asked a couple of people—two neighbours and my 40-year-old brother if I was just being a prude but they all were surprised and thought it was pretty low.
I didn’t want my 11-year-old daughter seeing the woman naked from the waist down except for a six-pack in her crotch nor my 8-year-old son seeing it thinking “yeah, that’s ok”, so I’ve put it in the bin, where a local newspaper with a photo like that on the front belongs.
Leah Regan

AS a 40-something male who’s been unable to grow a beard throughout my adulthood—and never have I felt the loss more than in the past year or so, with beards springing up out of chins everywhere I look—I was excited to see the ad in your paper last week that might have offered a solution.
Alas, you broke my heart: it was your fake ad of the week and I’ve now had to console myself with the hope that my downy, tufted chin and I might win a meal instead.
Kel Lendy

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