Housing Justice: A home for everyone

The Society’s new election statement aims to help those caught up in the housing crisis.

In March next year, people across NSW will have the opportunity to cast their vote on the direction they want our State to head over the next four years. The St Vincent de Paul Society wants NSW to become a State where everyone has a place to call home.

The Election Statement – Housing Justice: A home for everyone – has just been launched, and we need your help to bring its recommendations to the attention of candidates in your local electorate.

We have all seen the impact of the housing crisis and the threat of homelessness.

In the past year, I have twice helped a young family in my neighbourhood who have been threatened with eviction because they weren’t on time paying their skyrocketing rent. I regret the look of embarrassment I saw in their eyes as I offered a small hand to help tide them over. They’re barely holding on.

Another friend has lived in and out of poverty for most of his life. The bulk of his pension goes to paying for boarding house lodgings. He relies on the kindness of a good landlord. But if the landlord sells up, he’ll be on the street. He’s been on the social housing waiting list for nine years and rarely hears from the Department – usually when they’re asking if he still wants to be on the list.

The St Vincent de Paul Society sees people like this, whose stories lie hidden behind the statistics showing high and rising rates of homelessness and housing stress. Whether it’s during our home visitations, though our retail stores or homelessness services – we meet the children, women and men who are affected in so many ways.

The recent consultations with Members, Volunteers and Staff for the 2024 Strategy formulation found that, when it comes to the people we expect to be assisting in coming years, the primary presenting need will be related to housing stress, specifically an increasing number of people experiencing rental stress or rental insecurity as well as people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

That’s why the Election Statement is calling for concerted action to address the crisis. Some of the key asks include: 5,000 new social housing homes built each year over 10 years; improved rental affordability through affordable housing targets and setting fair limits on rent increases; and an additional $152 million p.a. for specialist homelessness service delivery.

Can you spread the word and lend your voice to the call?

The Election Statement can be downloaded here

If you’d like to share your experience in a visit with your MP and candidates, contact your Vinnies Social Justice representative or the Social Justice team at: social.justice@vinnies.org.au

Can your Conference join the Build Homes, Build Hope letter-writing campaign? More information can be found here in the Conference Reflection and Action Kit: Addressing the Housing and Homelessness Crisis.

Housing is a human right. Without it, human dignity is undermined and hope for the future is taken away. With secure and affordable housing, hope is restored.

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