A delegation of 30 people from various Newcastle and Hunter based organisations will travel to Sydney Town Hall on Thursday March 14 to take part in the Assembly on Affordable Housing, Energy & Rental Reform (#TownHallAssembly19).
The delegation, led by Compass Housing, includes representatives from NOVA for Women, Uniting, BaptistCare and members of the Hunter’s Big Ideas Homelessness Network.
Compass spokesperson Professor David Adamson said according to organisers, Sydney Alliance, the assembly is the largest public event about cost of living issues ever held in Australia. More than 2400 community leaders are now registered to hear from real Australians sharing their everyday struggle with housing insecurity, rental affordability and energy costs.
He said at the assembly, state and federal politicians will be asked to commit to a suite of housing and energy costs including:
- at least 5000 new social housing homes a year in NSW to meet the housing needs of families on low and very low incomes in our communities;
- more security for renters by removing ‘no grounds’ evictions in NSW
- a real funded 10 year plan to end homelessness in NSW
- increased targets for affordable housing in new developments
- a review of Minimum Standards of Rental Houses and Energy Efficiency Standards.
“We thought it important for Hunter organisations to attend the assembly on behalf of Hunter people who are struggling to keep a roof over their head.”
“Housing is a fundamental human right that impacts everyone and is essential for people to work, study and contribute to the community.”
“With high rents and house prices, rising homelessness rates, and long waits for social housing in the Hunter and across NSW, housing issues should be a key election issue.”
“We need the NSW government to lobby and work with the Australian Government to develop a national housing plan.”
Last year Compass Housing published the inaugural Affordable Housing Income Gap Report which showed median rents in Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens are unaffordable given median incomes in those areas. The latest 2016 Census figures show homelessness rates are on the rise, up 12% in the Hunter since the last Census.
Professor Adamson said one way Newcastle and Hunter residents can help to keep housing reform as an issue across all levels of government is to sign up to the Everybody’s Home campaign at everybodyshome.com.au. People and organisations can also sign the Hunter pledge to end homelessness at bigideashomelessnessnetwork.org
Politicians and party leaders from all sides of parliament have committed to attend the assembly including:
- Doug Cameron, Shadow Housing and Homelessness Spokesperson
- Mehreen Faruqui, Greens Spokesperson on Housing
- Don Harwin, NSW Minister for Energy and Utilities
- Adam Searle, NSW Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change
- Jenny Leong, NSW Greens Housing spokesperson
- Alex Greenwich (Independent)
- Paul Green NSW MLC (Christian Democratic Party).
Media information: Craig Eardley on 0437477493. Not the assembly is a registration only event, not an open public event. Visit https://www.sydneyalliance.org.au/