This week being Homelessness Week (1–7 August 2021) is a poignant reminder of the importance of social and community housing. The theme for Homelessness Week 2021 is ‘Everybody needs a home’.
Every night almost 120,000 Australians are homeless in Australia. Homelessness affects every part of our country.
A lack of affordable and secure housing is the number one reason for people seeking homelessness support in Australia — for women and children, family and domestic violence is the number one reason.
Housing is more than just shelter. An adequate home is foundational to living a healthy life with safety, security, and a sense of wellbeing. This year’s Homelessness Week theme reflects the urgent need for social and affordable housing across the country, and aims to highlight the structural changes required to fix Australia’s housing system and end homelessness.
Only seven per cent of people without a home are sleeping rough. The vast majority of homelessness is hidden – people in crisis accommodation, rooming houses, insecure housing, overcrowded dwellings, or couch surfing. A home means security, stability, privacy, safety, and being able to control your space.
City West Housing provides a home for 1600 people in inner Sydney. Our development pipeline means that we will be able to provide stable housing for more than 1,000 new residents over the next five years.
City West Housing CEO, Leonie King says the need for affordable housing in Sydney is especially critical at the moment with the current lockdown restrictions further impacting many people’s livelihoods.
“I was reminded of our impact when a resident in our Blackwattle apartments said she was ‘so grateful every single day, more so now in our current climate, that if anything happens to my job, City West Housing has my back…you cannot imagine how much weight and stress that takes off me, after having gone through my homeless journey which taught me the true meaning of resilience’.
“We have been providing high-quality, affordable housing for people in the City of Sydney for over 25 years. But this personal statement really drove home afresh the importance of what we do and the need for this sector to continue to grow to help even more people struggling with the rising cost of housing in Sydney,” said Leonie.
Hear from some more of City West Housing’s residents about what it means to them to be provided with a home that is safe, secure and affordable:
“CWH was there for me when I had nowhere to go.”
“There’s a great community around me.”
“I feel extremely secure.”
“I nearly experienced homelessness. Now there is peace of mind.”
“I used to pay half my pay in rent. For the first time in years I have been able to save.”
“It’s improved my self esteem and financial empowerment.”
“My mental health was suffering due to 18 moves. Now I can finally set up my home.”
Find out more about including a factsheet about homelessness in Australia from homelessnessaustralia.org.au