Another family given hope in the nation’s affordable housing crisis
Habitat for Humanity Victoria (HFHV) continues to make inroads into Australia’s affordable housing crisis with the hand-over of keys today (Wednesday 28 August) to its 65th house in Victoria.
HFHV has now built 16 houses in Yea, country Victoria to support people caught-up in the nation’s current affordable housing crisis. It has also received planning approval to build another six (6) affordable houses in Crib Point, Victoria to help address the crisis.
Executive Director of HFHV, Philip Curtis, said that Australia now faces a situation where one (1) in every 200 Australians are affected by the crisis.
“Charities and the not-for-profit sector need more government support and investment in the sector to scale-up to meet the needs of people who are disadvantaged, vulnerable and on the margins of our society,” he said. “Governments could provide practical support by improving access to affordable land, particularly surplus and/or unused land held by governments. This is a practical way to invest and help us address the underlying issue.”
For the new Yea homeowner Melanie and her three children – Matthew (21), Nick (19) and Chloe (17) – getting the keys to her own home means everything. For most of her life Melanie has struggled financially. In the late 90’s her sister passed away, making Melanie the guardian of her nephew. Not only was she caring for her three children and her nephew, but also her ageing father, making her unable to work at the time.
A few years later her father passed away leaving her with the funeral expenses. These costs became overbearing and Melanie had to declare bankruptcy. This meant that she could not apply for another bank loan, making home ownership impossible. Melanie’s priority has always been to provide the best life for her children, but because of increasing prices in the private rental market she feared she may end up homeless.
This is where Habitat for Humanity is helping families like Melanie achieve their goals.
Mr. Curtis emphasised that Australia could become ‘a model in affordable housing’ if governments and the charities in the housing sector worked together to make it happen.
“Access to safe, decent and affordable housing is the foundation for living and life, and it is not beyond the current governments at federal and state levels to help address this need in a meaningful manner,” he said.