Homelessness Week (3-8 August), and the theme is ‘Everybody needs a home’.
The challenges of drought, bushfires, floods and now COVID-19 have certainly reaffirmed the importance of having a home to stay healthy and well.
Yet it remains a harsh reality that homelessness is only increasing. This heat map https://everybodyshome.com.au/heat-maps/ shows that there are currently more than 116,000 people in Australia – including 800 in our electorate – who don’t have a safe, secure place to call home on any given night.
Anglicare North Coast works with many people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness every day. One of the main barriers we face is the critical shortage of social housing.
This is why under the umbrella of Everybody’s Home campaign we are advocating for an end to homelessness in Australia through building more social housing and a greater investment in support.
When the Federal Budget 2020-21 is handed down this October, we call for a Budget commitment to building at least 500,000 new social and affordable homes by 2030, with at least 30,000 of those delivered in the next four years, focusing on regional areas.
This would not only make a major contribution to ending homelessness, but will also contribute to regional economic growth by creating much needed jobs in local regions.
I encourage everyone to join me and thousands of others to call on our political leaders to make the changes needed to end homelessness because everybody needs a home.
Please also consider signing up to the Everybody’s Home campaign to call for solutions to end homelessness at everybodyshome.com.au. As part of the campaign, you can also contact your local MP and urge them to sign a pledge supporting investment in social housing.
Dr Leon Ankersmit
Anglicare North Coast