Housing Crisis: “The System is Broken”

By: Mike Crooks

With the Australian housing crisis reaching fever pitch, a new event is about to shine a light on the hardship of many Australians – and provide possible solutions.

Key points:

  • In Australia there are 640,000 families in need of social housing today, and 122,000 who found themselves homeless on any given night.
  • The commission is an opportunity for everyone “to contribute to a national conversation about the housing crisis, its impacts and what can be done to fix it.”
  • Everybody’s Home has already spoken to many Australians struggling within the housing crisis.

Over two days, experts will gather from around the nation for the People’s Commission into the Housing Crisis.

Organised by the Everybody’s Home campaign, the event will be held in Sydney but streamed nationally, and will give everyone, including experts as well as those struggling to find permanent accommodation, an opportunity to share their stories, insights and ideas.

Launched in 2018 by “a coalition of housing, homelessness and welfare organisations” ‘Everybody’s Home’ is a national campaign to tackle the housing crisis.

In Australia there are 640,000 families in need of social housing today, and 122,000 who found themselves homeless on any given night.

It has more than 43,000 individual supporters, and more than 500 organisational supporters, including Mission Australia.

What is the People’s Commission into the Housing Crisis?

According to Everybody’s Home, in Australia there are 640,000 families in need of social housing today, and 122,000 who found themselves homeless on any given night.

Further, exorbitant housing prices have put home ownership beyond the reach of most Australians, and rental prices continue to rise unchecked.

“This is one of the greatest challenges of our time, requiring bold vision and ambitious reform,” a statement from Everybody’s Home read.

To that end, the commission is an opportunity for everyone “to contribute to a national conversation about the housing crisis, its impacts and what can be done to fix it.”

It will provide a crucial platform to everyday Australians to share their story about how the housing crisis is impacting them.

Most importantly, decision-makers in Australia will hear those stories.

Getting involved

Any individual impacted by the crisis could make a submission at Everybody’s Home.

Submissions, which are now closed, will form part of a final report. Some of those who made submissions will be invited to share their story to the commissioners.

The commissioners are former NSW Labor Senator Doug Cameron and University of Sydney housing expert Prof Nicole Gurran.

The commission “provides a platform for everyday people to share their stories of housing insecurity,” a statement read.

“We are inviting community members and organisations to provide testimony, which will culminate in a series of recommendations to fix Australia’s housing crisis.”

Case studies

As part of its ongoing campaign, Everybody’s Home has already spoken to many Australians struggling within the housing crisis.

One woman, Amanda, told the group how difficult it is finding a place to live when escaping domestic violence. The mother was placed in transitional housing, a type of social housing which is supported by Specialist Homelessness Services like the Salvation Army.

Though this is a critical part of women seeking safety, it is not a long-term solution.

“Being in transitional housing with a small child you don’t know where the next house might be,” said Amanda. “So you can’t make plans for your child’s education because you won’t know where you’ll be living.”

Another person has voiced their thoughts on renting a home, with no prospects of buying.

“Renting has provided no long term security, I never feel like I’m at home because landlords and state law treat me as a guest on their property,” said the person.

“I want stability but all I’ve had is price rises and abusive landlords that break the law with no repercussions.”

“Invaluable voices”

Mission Australia CEO Sharon Callister said that Australia’s housing system is “broken”, and listening to those who have experienced homelessness or housing instability, must be at the heart of discussions about fixing the crisis.

“Their voices are invaluable in shaping interventions and policies,” she said in a statement. “They have essential expertise in what will work – and won’t work – to end Australia’s housing emergency.”

Mission Australia, which has supported Everybody’s Home since 2018, is calling for “comprehensive” solutions.

“Ending homelessness goes beyond bricks and mortar: it requires meaningful prevention measures and support services,” said Ms Callister.

A final report from the commission will be published, and will include recommendations for the federal government.

Visit here for information on how to livestream the event.

For more information visit Everybody’s Home.


Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.

All images supplied with thanks to Everybody’s Home

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