Constituency statement: homelessness and housing

Constituency statement:  homelessness and housing Main Image

14 February 2023

In my electorate of Eden-Monaro the community of Queanbeyan found themselves grappling with a homelessness and housing affordability issue.

Did they sit back and do nothing? Absolutely not!

This community took the bull by the horns, and they enacted the Queanbeyan Housing Action Committee, a voluntary collective consisting of the St Benedict's Community Centre, Molonglo Support Services, Karabar Housing Cooperative and the Terry Campese Foundation.

They realised the need for urgent action. They identified a project, sleepbus, the brainchild of Simon Rowe.

Sleepbus has the simple aim of providing a safe, temporary overnight accommodation for our community's most vulnerable. And a big shoutout to Kelli Rixon, a superstar who steps up every week in all different roles to ensure that sleepbus is open for vulnerable people in our community. I was so incredibly proud that she was recognised on Australia Day as Queanbeyan Citizen of the Year. Since sleepbus Queanbeyan began its services in March 2021 it's been able to provide over a thousand safe sleeps. That's a huge achievement for a volunteer-led organisation in our community.

Karabar Housing Cooperative currently provide 21 affordable homes to our local community.

They manage another six and they have plans to build more. They believe having a place to call home has an enormously positive impact on an individual's quality of life and wellbeing. Their mission is to provide quality, affordable housing for people on low to moderate incomes in the Queanbeyan region. Karabar Housing Cooperative have established a fundraising committee, and they are working towards a fundraising launch date of 22 July 2023 in Queanbeyan, and I urge people to get on board and support the work of this vital organisation in our community.

We are doing our bit here too. The Albanese Labor government is now taking action against homelessness through the National Housing and Homelessness Plan, which is the single biggest investment in social and affordable housing from a federal government in over a decade.

The plan will deliver 30,000 social and affordable homes in its first five years. It's legislation that is making a real difference to thousands of people's lives, and I really encourage those opposite to support the 10-year strategy that will address the mess that we've inherited from the previous government.

The Albanese government is making a real difference in regional communities.