Taking action on affordable housing

Taking action on affordable housing

On Wednesday 11 March, 90 young people came together and called on the Premier Mike Baird to take action on affordable housing in NSW. Equipped with second-hand furniture and other household trimmings, they “moved in with Mike”, turning the footpath on Macquarie Street outside NSW Parliament into a pop-up house to highlight the issue. The event was coordinated by Sydney Alliance and supported by the Uniting Church Synod of NSW and ACT.

Through their Affordable Housing campaign, Sydney Alliance is calling on the NSW Government to commit to increasing the supply of affordable housing in NSW. Tuesday’s event was part of a two-week campaign from 9 to 22 March during which Sydney Alliance is coordinating actions, talks and forums to push the issue onto the public agenda and apply pressure on State Government decision.

A variety of participants from church and community organisations turned up to support the initiative. Church leaders, members and youth groups teamed up with community campaigners to lead the walk down Macquarie Street under the Sydney Alliance banner. Accompanied by a removalist truck and a soundtrack of house-themed tunes, they then set up house opposite NSW Parliament, complete with a TV and bean-bags.

Addressing the media, Bishop Terry Brady from the Catholic Diocese of Sydney spoke about the pressures imposed on everyday families by the lack of affordable housing options in Sydney. He said the dream of home ownership is far from possible for many young people.

Sydney Alliance spokesperson Charles Rich highlighted the importance of State Government bipartisan action in order to make home ownership a possibility for young people. He identified up-front stamp duty costs and saving for deposits as the major barriers to home ownership. “We need to provide more affordable housing options across Sydney and near places where people work- not just in new housing estates on the city fringe”, he said.

The Uniting Church Synod of NSW and ACT Social Justice Forum identified housing affordability as a critical social justice issue. With more than one million people experiencing housing stress, NSW also has the highest number of homeless persons in Australia. The Forum is committed to improving housing affordability by supporting the efforts of Sydney Alliance, providing opportunities for wider community participation and raising awareness about their advocacy work.

To find out more about the Affordable Housing campaign or to participate in upcoming activities, visit https://www.sydneyalliance.org.au/housing.

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