(Study Guide) 900 Neighbours

In February 2006 Australia's media was rocked by the headline, 'Skeleton Man Found in Housing Commission Flat'. The man had died six months previously, but when finally found, all that remained of the man was a skeleton. Just what sort of place could such a thing occur in? That place is Northcott Housing Estate.

The overwhelming physical presence of the building is arresting, as it would be given its history ... Built in the 1950s in the post-war effort to clear slums and create affordable housing for those in need, it was opened with pride and joy in 1961. It was the largest Public Housing Estate in the Southern Hemisphere, featuring the latest Swedish design and housed a thousand people. But now the story is very different. As the Public Housing system came increasingly under pressure to house the mentally ill, ex-prisoners, recovering addicts and those battling serious drug and alcohol issues, Northcott became a haven for those in crisis. And a big one.

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