‘Persistence’ was the theme of the second Sydney Alliance Affordable Housing Assembly, held on July 22, 2017 in St Mary’s Cathedral.
Leaders and community members from across the city gathered to meet with the Minister for Planning, Anthony Roberts MP, and CEO of the Greater Sydney Commission, Sarah Hill, to discuss proposed Sydney Alliance changes to inclusionary zoning to help increase affordable housing options.
Sydney Alliance is a coalition of community representatives from churches, mosques, synagogues, civil society and service organisations. The Alliance was founded in 2007 to address critical issues and needs of all Sydney-siders and since 2013, The Alliance’s main campaign has been to address the housing affordability crisis in Sydney, a challenge that SSI is also addressing through its long term housing initiatives and Emergency Housing Assistance.
More than 500 people attended the Affordable Housing Assembly, including 40 representatives from SSI.
Among the supporters was Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher; Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed; Moderator of The Uniting Synod, Myung Hwa Park; Uniting Executive Director, Peter Worland; Director City Futures, UNSW, Professor Bill Randolph.
A number of speakers showed great courage and commitment to the issue by sharing their personal stories dealing with housing stress.
Nadine Carrick, a full-time Town Planning student – who came with her baby daughter – shared her struggle to continue to pay 70 per cent of her income towards rent.
“I can’t even really afford to run my car at the moment,” Ms Carrick said.
“The priority is a roof over our head, food and some petrol for the car to get around.”
Nadine finished her speech by saying “We all have a right to this city and to be part of the community and we demand action.”
Professor Randolph, with his 30 years’ experience in housing and urban planning research, explained how inclusionary re-zoning has worked well in many other cities, including New York and London. He said the uplift, or growth in Sydney’s land values, needed to be more equitably shared with the communities.
The Alliance’s Affordable Housing spokesperson, and CEO of Church Housing Magnus Linder, cited research indicating that there has been a 70 per cent increase in house sale values, compared to wage increases of only 13 per cent in the last five years.
SSI Housing assists people to access stable, secure and affordable rental housing. Our aim is to ensure that tenants pay no more than 50 per cent of their income on rent.
- Foundations Training – Two day training on community organising; Tuesday 25 & Wednesday 26 July; 9:00am-5:00pm, Parramatta. Register here.
- Community Organising Masterclass with Sr Maribeth Larkin; Friday 28 July, 9:30am-2:30pm, Sydney CBD, Register here.
- Right to Home Action – A Presentation of Vinnies Petition, August 3, in NSW Parliament House. More details here