‘Retain the tall buildings’
WATERLOO: Mr Tee, who prefers to be known as T-Bone, a nickname he was given due to his love of T-bone steaks, has lived in the Marton building in Cope Street since 2002. The Marton is an 18-storey residential block, one of the six high-rise towers that provide social housing in the area and which are part of the Waterloo redevelopment precinct.
Prior to moving into the Marton building, T-Bone was homeless for seven years.
What he likes about living in settled accommodation is the ability to occupy his time, have a regular schedule and being able to have regular appointments with professionals.
He said, “It gives you a chance to plan your time, in a sense you know what you are doing today.” He adds, “It’s a lot better than living on the streets, I can tell you.”
He’s a regular at the Factory Community Centre in Raglan Street where he comes to use the computers and where he says, “Everyone is more than helpful to guide you or show you when you are doing something wrong.”
When the redevelopment of the Waterloo area goes ahead, having lived in tall buildings all his life and preferring them, he would like to see the tall buildings retained.
At this stage, even though there is a website with information about the development of the Waterloo Master Plan, there does not seem to be any information in regard to the fate of the six residential towers.
Written questions to the media unit at the Department of Family and Community Services about the towers referred back to the Communities Plus website. Written questions to the Minister about the towers have not received a response.
In the 15 years T-Bone has lived in the area, he says he has seen a decrease in the level of aggression. He can’t tell you what has caused that decrease but he has certainly noticed it.
T-Bone would also like to see the basketball court (which he sometimes uses to shoot hoops), an area for people to walk their cats and dogs and an area for people to congregate without feeling that something is going to happen to them, retained.
In the future redevelopment, he would love to see a tennis court.
Although he has been involved in weekly meetings regarding the redevelopment of the Waterloo precinct, he believes there should be a lot more consultation of the local community by the people who are undertaking the redevelopment, so residents are able to ensure the end result will meet their needs.