A small business owner has explained how to live in public housing, complaining of the loss of thousands of dollars during the Melbourne closure.
Steve Pat couldn’t leave his one-bedroom apartment in Flemington Towers with 3,000 others while the building was largely shut down last week.
He started a GoFundMe to cover the $ 4,000 he had to lose because he couldn’t run his cleaning business for more than two weeks.
The hardworking Turkish Australian said he had to cancel all jobs reserved for a week and make numerous calls to refuse his services.
Steve Pat can’t leave his one-bedroom apartment at Flemington Towers in Melbourne due to coronavirus lock and has to cancel all his jobs for the next two weeks
Pat has since faced a huge backlash from Australians wondering how he was eligible for public housing while earning thousands of weeks.
He claimed that, contrary to popular belief, working people who lived in Flemington Towers almost paid the market rate for the area.
“I pay $ 340 a week for my unit, it’s only subsidized by $ 40 or $ 50 compared to the market rate for a really nice area,” he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘There are a lot of people on six figures (annual income) who live here. We have a very good community here, so people want to stay. ‘
Pat said he planned to buy a house in the Melbourne suburbs this year, but the coronavirus pandemic ruined those plans.
Residents of 10 towers in Flemington (photo), North Melbourne and Kensington were not even allowed to set foot outside their doors on Saturday
Mr Pat said that he should cancel all jobs booked for this week and refuse numerous calls for his services
“My business has only gotten off in the last year, I probably only made $ 30,000 in the past (financial) year,” he said.
“It is very difficult to get financing if you also work as a self-employed person, the banks need a larger down payment and do not want to lend to you.”
Pat said much of his earnings went to support his two sons aged six and nine, who live with his ex-wife in Turkey and had to cancel a trip to visit him.
He also has business expenses of up to $ 300 per week to cover the cash paid for jobs.
There are many documented cases in Australia of residents living in public housing while earning high wages.
This is usually due to the fact that long-term residents get better jobs but do not move, and their rent is generally increased accordingly.
Residents of 10 towers in Flemington, North Melbourne and Kensington were not even allowed to set foot outside their door last Saturday.
Pat and his neighbors had to walk to the lobby to get a box of essential groceries, despite the order not to leave their room. Shown is the delivery at the bottom of the public housing block
Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said the drastic measure would take at least five days if a renewed coronavirus outbreak went through those suburbs.
Pat feared the shutdown would take two weeks if one of his inmates refused tests, according to his detention instructions.
Mr. Andrews promised free rent and $ 1,500 to anyone who was unable to work over the next two weeks because he was trapped in the gated suburbs.
“I appreciate that, but I usually earn a lot more than that,” Mr. Pat, a sole proprietor, told Daily Mail Australia last week.
“People think we are whingers and that we shouldn’t complain because we get a free rent, but I’d rather pay my rent and not get money to do my job there.
“Most people think everyone who lives here is a bum or a drug user, but it is far from over.”
Pat admitted that he may have “ overreacted ” to the hard blocking of his tower block when creating the GoFundMe, which he has since removed, but said the episode was not properly handed over by authorities.
Many of the people in the buildings are outraged by the lack of food and information from the authorities after being surprised when the no-warning lockdown came in.
Food and drink packages (right) were delivered to residents by the police (left) on Saturday evening, but some complained that they were not getting supplies such as bread and milk
Common complaints from the towers
– Lack of essential supplies and food
– Police’s down-to-earth attitude in enforcing orders that remain at home
– Inability to go shopping is at odds with others in the hotspot zip codes
– Lack of protective equipment such as resident masks
– No information provided on length or reasons behind locking
He and his neighbors had to walk to the lobby to get a box of essential groceries, despite the order not to leave their room.
“No one has told me, no authority has come to the door other than the police to give me the clue instructions,” he said.
“We can test 20,000 people in Melbourne within 24 hours, why couldn’t they test us yet?”
“In my opinion, this is worse than prison, because we don’t even get an hour to walk and get some fresh air.
“This is not just a loss of income, but a loss of freedom, our daily human rights.”
Pat said he called a residents hotline to ask for cat litter and was told someone would call him back but no one did.
Mister Pat’s tower block was finally released from total closure at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday after six days.
Residents are still locked in with the rest of the Melbourne metro area but are now allowed to leave their flat for work and exercise.
Firefighters dressed in personal protective equipment are preparing to distribute food to a public residential tower in North Melbourne on Tuesday