The Eastern Affordable Housing Alliance (EAHA) is calling upon the next federal government to address the housing crisis as one of its first priorities.
EAHA said the federal election campaign had been heavily focused on issues like taxation, health and education, but put little emphasis on the housing crisis.
EAHA is a collaboration between the cities of Knox, Manningham, Maroondah, Monash, Whitehorse and Yarra Ranges.
The alliance aims to ensure that the most disadvantaged people in the eastern metropolitan region can access safe, secure, affordable housing, with a view to better health outcomes and higher quality of life for all.
EAHA chairman and Knox Councillor Peter Lockwood said outer metropolitan councils were experiencing a rise in the number of people sleeping rough or seeking other forms of emergency accommodation.
“Access to a roof over your head is a fundamental human right and yet governments seem willing to leave people stuck in housing limbo,” he said.
“At a bare minimum, we need a dedicated Federal Housing Minister as well as the development of a Federal Housing Strategy in consultation with the States and Territories.
“The strategy should identify and commit to minimum national targets for the supply of social housing.
“Additionally, we need to change current tax policy settings that adversely impact the supply of affordable housing, and commit to providing additional funding for social housing.”
Cr Lockwood referred to a Christina from Croydon, whose reality of the housing crisis meant renting a rundown and dilapidated house with little in the way of heating, and only one tap with running water.
He said Christina had worked hard all her life, contributing to society through her work as a carer.
Now, he said, she contributes about $150 a week in rent, with ongoing health issues making it near-impossible to find more suitable rental accommodation.
“Christina’s story is all too familiar to many people, including in Knox and the outer eastern metropolitan region, where demand for social and affordable housing far outstrips supply,” Cr Lockwood said.
“People like Christina have contributed so much over the course of their working life – isn’t it time we gave a little back by helping her and many others to have a safe and secure place to call home?”
For more information about EAHA’s Zone In: A Fair Housing System For All advocacy campaign visit www.zonein.net.au.