Thousands of origami homes will be displayed on the steps of Victoria’s Parliament on Wednesday to illustrate the scale of the state’s housing and homelessness crisis, and investment needed to solve it.
Council for Homeless Persons CEO Deborah Di Natale says each of the 6,000 paper houses represents what Victoria needs to build each year.
“More than 100,000 Victorians sought help from homelessness services last year and, on any given night, 30,000 people have no home. They’re staying on friends’ couches, in expensive and dangerous rooming houses or without shelter entirely, living in a car or a public space,” Ms Di Natale said.
“The crisis is significant, but we can solve it if the state government commits to building 6,000 social homes each year. One-off commitments are welcome, but simply won’t be enough to reverse decades of social housing policy neglect.”
CHP called on MPs to take a photo with the origami houses being displayed ahead of Homelessness Week (August 7 – 13) to show their support for meaningful social housing investment.
Ms Di Natale will speak at Wednesday’s Houses at Parliament event, organised by the Victorian Homelessness Network, alongside Joal Presincula, who has experienced homelessness.
“Rents have increased by 13 per cent in Victoria in the last year alone. So many people are just one rent increase away from homelessness,” Ms Di Natale said.
“The theme of Homelessness Week is that ‘it’s time to end homelessness’. We need Victoria to act, but the federal government must also coordinate a national plan to end, and not just reduce, homelessness.
“A meaningful investment in social housing, and supports to end homelessness at a state and federal level, will have so many positive flow-on effects.
“It will allow people to escape family and domestic violence, reduce hospital presentations, and give people the stability they need to gain and keep employment
“Investment in social housing is a no brainer – it boosts the economy and puts a roof over people’s heads. The cost is too high, and the benefits too great not to invest.”