Campaign to put housing affordability on the state election agenda
Local Community Housing organisations are asking voters to consider housing when making a decision at the Victorian State Election on November 29.
St Kilda Community Housing, South Port Community Housing Group and the Port Phillip Housing Association, supported by the Community Housing Federation of Victoria (CHFV), are running a ‘Without a Home’ campaign.
“Affordable Housing does not receive the priority it should,” St Kilda Community Housing General Manager John Enticott said “the lack of investment in building, acquiring and maintaining affordable housing reflects this, as does the ease with which State Governments can dispose of vital public housing stock.”
The campaign asks candidates and parties in the upcoming state election to back a strong safety net to ensure that every Victorian household has access to and is able to maintain a home.
Put up a poster
The campaign has produced of a series of posters reminding voters that “Without a Home …” most Victorians would face all sorts of difficulties such as maintaining employment, family, health, education and personal safety.
You can download and print one of the A3 posters to display yourself – or you can call Mandy at St Kilda Community Housing on 9534 1809 if you are interested in having a larger poster in the front window of your business, or a garden sign in your front yard if it is in a prominent position.
Does your local candidate support housing?
The campaign seeks to poll candidates on their positions on issues of Housing affordability and support for safety net housing such as community housing in the electorates that they want to represent.
You can visit www.chfv.org.au/votehousing to find out more about what the various political parties are saying about housing policy and who your local candidate is.
Homelessness is on the rise due to a severe shortage of affordable housing. Affordable housing is defined as 30 per cent or less of household income going to cover the cost of rent or a mortgage; anything over this and people become ‘housing stressed’.
The recent Melbourne hearings of the Federal Senate Enquiry into Affordable Housing in September received many submissions from Victorian housing organisations urging policy makers to take action to increase the supply of affordable housing stock.
“Low income earners are being priced out of the private rental market at an alarming rate and social housing options are shrinking,” according to HomeGround Services CEO Dr Heather Holst. “Barriers to safe and secure tenancies in both private rental and social housing need to be addressed so that we can offer people on low incomes decent housing.”
Rooming Houses are often a last resort for many people, when the only other option is short term shelters or homelessness. But the need for housing affordability is not limited to low income and vulnerable people.
“The fluctuating economy, rising unemployment and the spiralling cost of living has put greater pressure on people of all ages to meet monthly mortgages and rentals.” said Mr Enticott “Entering or returning to the property market with housing prices ballooning has been described as impossible, leaving little option but renting, rooming houses, or public and community housing for more and more people.”
The impact of housing affordability
The social and economic costs of not acting on the affordable housing crisis are high and will be prolonged if action isn’t urgently taken to make sure every Victorian household has access to a safe and affordable home.
“Tenants in housing stress have no chance of saving a deposit towards home ownership,” adds Dr Holst “When a person is in a constant state of housing crisis it also makes it difficult to participate actively in social and community activities.”
“When someone dismisses housing issues by saying ‘if you can’t afford to live there, move on’, they should ask themselves ‘what if one day I was forced out of the home and the community that I had lived for most of my life, for reasons out of my control, where would I live, and would anyone care?’” said Mr Enticott “Well, many Victorians like us do care, and so too should our elected representatives.”
More information on the campaign
You can download any of the posters here.