Saturday, 15 June 2024
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Local News

Addressing housing affordability crisis

Addressing housing affordability crisis

In response to the escalating concerns over the rising cost of housing, the community of East Gippsland, with the support of FLOAT, is set to convene for a critical discussion on affordable housing solutions. 
Spearheaded by local advocates and community leaders, the event aims to tackle the pressing challenges faced by residents in securing safe and affordable housing.
Grace McCaughey, a passionate advocate for affordable housing in the region, emphasises the fundamental importance of accessible housing.
"An affordable home for everyone is a basic human right, just as clean air and drinkable water," she said.
Her sentiments echo the sentiments of many residents grappling with the harsh realities of housing insecurity.
With the Victorian Government's shift away from public housing over the past three decades, low-erincome Victorians have found themselves increasingly marginalised, unable to afford suitable accommodation, according to Ms McCaughey.
She reflects on this trend, noting the detrimental effects on individuals and families.
"Especially as the numbers of replacement public housing decreased dramatically, leaving so many people in the dark and many became homeless or suffered housing stress," she said.
The upcoming community conversation, scheduled for Wednesday, June 12, from 4pm to 6pm at the Slipway Sheds on 480 Esplanade, Lakes Entrance, promises to be a pivotal moment for East Gippsland.
Attendees will engage in discussions surrounding the challenges posed by rising rents, the lack of affordable housing options, and the broader impact on the community.
In addition to identifying obstacles, participants will explore potential solutions, including alternative housing models such as tiny homes, co-housing, and community land trusts.
"There is not a single answer, but a wide range of actions by all sectors of society needs to be activated," Ms McCaughey said.
As the dialogue unfolds, residents are encouraged to share their experiences and concerns, forge connections with like-minded individuals, and contribute to the development of actionable plans for positive change.
"Together, we have the power to effect meaningful transformation," Ms McCaughey said.
"I was moved to speak to a lovely couple of people recently at the Mitchell River barbecue area. They had slept there overnight and were packing up their belongings waiting for a taxi to take them to a motel room for two weeks. But then what? They did not know. How would I or you cope with such a situation?
"An affordable home for everyone is a basic human right, just as clean air and drinkable water.
"There is not a single answer, but a wide range of actions by all sectors of society needs to be activated."
The event organisers stress the importance of community engagement in addressing the housing affordability crisis. They invite residents from all walks of life to join the conversation, share their ideas, and work towards a more equitable future for East Gippsland.
"It's time we come together and find a voice that represents the community in order to push for solutions to the housing crisis," Isaac Carne, co-organiser of the event, said.
"This event is for those tired of empty slogans that are keen to take the front seat in advocating for a fairer and more equitable society."
Light refreshments will be provided, fostering an atmosphere of camaraderie and collaboration as the community unites to tackle one of its most pressing challenges.

IMAGE: Isaac Carne and Grace McCaughey, organisers of next week’s housing crisis in East Gippsland event. (PS)


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