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Grant makes housing conference more affordable

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May 02, 2018

 

The City of Sydney is throwing its support behind a major affordable housing conference, making it easier for more social housing tenants to attend and have their say.

Organised by the NSW Federation of Housing Associations and Homelessness NSW, the ‘Everybody’s Home – Affordable Housing Conference 2018’ will take place from 27 to 28 June in Sydney.

Council has endorsed sponsorship of $20,000 for the conference under the City’s knowledge exchange sponsorship program.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said housing affordability was a critical issue for people right across greater Sydney, especially those living and working in the inner city.

“We know affordable housing is the only long-term solution for preventing and responding to homelessness,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Without an adequate supply of social and affordable housing, people at risk of homelessness and those already sleeping rough will struggle to break the cycle.

“We are committed to working with state agencies and affordable housing providers to respond to homelessness and increase the supply of affordable housing in our city – what we are doing is seeing great results, but we need more.

“This year, our annual summer street count found a significant decrease in the number of people sleeping rough compared to the previous year, which is attributed to more people accessing housing and support in recent months.

“Think about how much more we would be able to achieve with governments at all levels working together with private and not-for-profit housing providers to build more affordable and social housing.

“We need to make sure social and affordable housing tenants are part of the conversations about improving this sector – so we’re proud to get behind a truly affordable affordable housing conference.”

The conference provides an opportunity for housing providers, advocacy groups, non-profit organisations and government to rally behind the ‘Everybody’s Home’ campaign – a national advocacy campaign aiming to broaden public debate around housing and homelessness.

NSW Federation of Housing Associations CEO Wendy Hayhurst said the conference would provide an important networking opportunity for people working in the industry and social housing tenants.

“We need an affordable, affordable housing conference, so greater numbers of social housing tenants and people on lower incomes can attend,” Ms Hayhurst said.

“The City of Sydney is helping us to achieve that goal and the sponsorship provided will make a big difference.

“The theme of the conference echoes the national ‘Everybody’s Home’ campaign and it will cover topics including the growing shortfall in affordable housing and strategies to boost supply.”

The conference topics include:

  • the role of housing in driving and boosting economic growth and productivity
  • how government investment and public policy intervention can increase affordable housing supply
  • what support the community housing sector needs to grow and better address the shortage of affordable rental housing
  • how more appropriate affordable housing can service vulnerable communities, including people experiencing homelessness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people with disability and older people.

“While the provision of social and affordable housing is the responsibility of the state government, the City is committed to playing its part,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We are using all the options available to us to create more affordable homes for vulnerable people.”

Through subsidised land sales, the City of Sydney has offered discounts to community housing providers totalling more than $22 million.

The City’s affordable housing levies have created opportunities for more than 900 affordable rental housing units for key workers and low income earners.

The City continues to fund affordable and community housing initiatives through its grants program. This includes the $20,000 grant for the affordable housing conference, $3 million to St George Community Housing to house and support young people at risk of homelessness and $1.5 million to HammondCare for the development of a subsidised residential aged care facility.

The City is also investing $6.6 million over three years to continue to address homelessness, which includes $3.5 million to specialist homelessness services through the NSW Government’s Family and Community Services agency.

Everybody’s Home – Affordable Housing Conference 2018 will take place from 27 to 28 June 2018 at the Sydney Masonic Centre, 66 Goulburn Street, Sydney. For more information see ahc2018.com.au

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