Affordable Housing Campaign
We aim to engage support in the Uniting Church, in the wider community and among political and economic decision-makers, for improving housing affordability.
We need your help right now - please take action below!
The story so far...
In 2015, the Uniting Social Justice Forum held Table Talks across the NSW and ACT Synod of the Uniting Church to gather a broad range of stories and experiences of housing stress, and to generate ideas. There was strong agreement that governments need to take action.
A summary of the findings is under Resources below.
From 2016 we held meetings with NSW MPs and political leaders, and asked our supporters to write to their local NSW and ACT members of parliament.
Our research shows there are positive steps these governments can take to significantly improve the provision of secure and affordable housing:
- They can develop a comprehensive long-term social and affordable housing plan with targets and timelines - to ensure governments are publicly accountable for promises and we can track progress.
- They can adopt laws requiring “inclusionary zoning” (or “shared value”) in major new developments – where developers must set aside a significant percentage of their new properties (preferably around 30%) for affordable housing, so people on moderate and low incomes are not excluded. See under Take action below what you can do now to help make this happen!
- They can move to end "no cause evictions" in legislation which leave low-income renters unnecessarily vulnerable.
Background on these actions, and why we recommend them, can be found under About the issue and more in Resources below.
Housing is a basic human right - essential to our wellbeing and quality of life.
Without stable housing, it’s difficult to care for your family, gain employment or remain engaged with education or training.
Housing is considered “affordable” for people on below-average incomes if it costs less than 30% of their income.
If it’s more, people are in “housing stress” – unable to afford adequate food, clothing, education and other essentials.
The impacts of the housing crisis are felt across the social spectrum, low-income and vulnerable households suffering most.
In NSW and ACT:
- There’s a severe shortage of affordable rental properties, especially for those on lower incomes. More than a million people are in housing stress.
- Rising prices have seen first home buyers increasingly squeezed out of the market. Home ownership has declined across all age groups, especially among low and middle income earners.
- A decline in “social” (public) housing has led to lengthy waiting periods - up to ten years in some areas.
- Homelessness is increasing - including a growing proportion of women, children and young people.
Following a review by the Greater Sydney Commission (now closed), the NSW Government is considering what policies to adopt to alleviate what it admits is a very serious problem. The government has engaged expert advisers and is expected to announce soon what steps it will take.
So this is a key moment - your input could make a real difference.
Personal contact with your local members of Parliament can have an impact – we’ve already seeing encouraging signs they're starting to respond, but now is the time to put words into action and toughen up targets.
We encourage you to send an email or letter to your local (State or Territory) MP. Express your concerns about the lack of affordable housing, and ask them to support the implementation of a comprehensive state plan for social and affordable housing and adopting of meaningful (not token) inclusionary zoning laws.
Go to our campaign site to take this action now.
If you’d like to write a hand-written letter, which we recommend, download the information below which includes a sample letter and instructions to maximise your impact?
Or you can adapt the text from our campaign site which targets inclusionary zoning more specifically.
- 10/3/17: Housing affordability - time for NSW to turn words into action South Sydney Herald
- 23/1/17: Housing affordability: experts urge Gladys Berejiklian to act Sydney Morning Herald
- 27/7/16: NSW needs inclusionary zoning, says former Premier Sydney Morning Herald
- 22/6/16: Inclusionary zoning no.1 way of improving Sydney: expert Sydney Morning Herald
For further background information go to the resources page.