Contributed from New South Wales
The Sydney Alliance, which has more than a dozen organisations within its umbrella, including the NSW Tenants’ Union, Everybody’s Home campaign and St Vincent de Paul, is organising a major public meeting for 14 March at the Sydney Town Hall.
This is the next step in the Everybody’s Home campaign. It’s aims are taxation reform to make fairer for ordinary Australians to buy a home, the adoption of a national housing strategy, getting rid of no grounds evictions of renters and unfair rent rises, immediate relief for chronic rental stress and a plan to end homelessness by 2040. The Alliance is campaigning for 5,000 social housing homes to be built each year and pushing for lowering the cost of energy for both owners and renters, through renewable power.
The Alliance is campaigning for 5,000 social housing homes to be built each year and pushing for lowering the cost of energy for both owners and renters, through renewable power.
The action is in the leadup to the state election and more than 2100 community leaders and members expected to attend. The list of what is being called for will be given to the incoming state government. It will also be passed on to members of the federal government, other parties and independents. They have all been invited to outline their plans for housing and energy affordability. Unfortunately, there has been very little response yet.
There is hope that some commitments will be made at the Sydney Town Hall. Even if they don’t, the campaign will continue.
Some 300,000 households are in rental stress, struggling to pay for basics like food and power bills.
NSW Tenants’ Union senior policy officer Leo Patterson Ross says: “This is one of the biggest gatherings … these are really important issues and they’re growing. Whoever forms government, they have to acknowledge this.
“They’ve been able to not address this for a long time, but we don’t think they can ignore this anymore.
“There is a growing number of people affected by these issues … more and more people are being left behind on energy costs and [they are] realising that government can be taking a greater role.”
Campaign NSW spokeswoman Katherine McKernan said not enough resources were being dedicated to solving the state’s crisis.
“You need more affordable private rentals; more social housing and you need affordable houses. We’ve got elements of that but no overall plan just yet,” Ms McKernan said. “[The state government] have made an effort to acknowledge that homelessness is an issue in NSW, but unfortunately it’s nowhere near the investment required.”