Margaret Kelly, a 68-year-old woman living in Barak Beacon Estate, is taking a stand against the Victorian government's $5.3 billion Big Housing Build project, which will see her home and dozens of other sites demolished for redevelopment.
Kelly has lived in the estate for 25 years with her pets and is refusing to leave, stating that "they'll have to carry me out".
The Victorian government's plan to demolish and redevelop dozens of public housing estates as part of the $5.3 billion Big Housing Build project has led to a clash with residents who are fighting to keep their homes.
Among these residents is 68-year-old Margaret Kelly, who has lived in Barak Beacon Estate for 25 years with her pets.
Kelly is refusing to leave her home, which is set to be demolished in a few months.
This project is aimed at not only providing more affordable housing but also creating jobs in the construction industry after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the economy.
However, residents are feeling left behind as plans are being implemented without adequate consultation with them, and they are concerned about the impact on their community.
While the government has offered residents options to move to new homes, many are reluctant to leave their familiar surroundings and communities.
Some have expressed concerns that the new developments will not adequately cater to residents' individual needs, with one resident stating that "we're all human beings here - we're not pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to be moved around".
Nonetheless, the plan is moving forward, and the government is attempting to work with residents to minimise disruption and provide new housing options.