Stainforth Court: closing the door

Stainforth Court was a public housing estate in Hobart, and by the early 2000s, it was synonymous with drugs and crime. 

One former resident called it a “trauma centre.”

A community worker called it “the waiting room for hell.” 

The former Tasmanian Housing Minister, Cassy O’Connor, called it a “weeping social sore.” 

But Stainforth Court was also home for many people, and some residents lived there for decades.

Photo: Thomas Ryan Photography

I co-produced a two-part series about Stainforth Court with Emma Lancaster for ABC RN’s Earshot.

In the first episode on this troubled public housing estate, we look at what it was really like to live at Stainforth Court, and ask how it became beset by such serious social problems.

In the second episode, we trace how a 2011 murder prompted a transformation of Stainforth Court, and ask whether it was redeveloped at the expense of the people who used to call it home. And what we can learn from this story when it comes to improving Australia’s public housing?

You can listen to episode 1, Stainforth Court: the trauma centre, here and episode 2, Stainforth Court: closing the door, here. You can also read a companion article for ABC News here.

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