CatholicCare Matters - Not enough homes

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Home > Media > News > CatholicCare Matters - Not enough homes
CatholicCare Matters - Not enough homes

By Clare Mittermayer, Director of Identity and Mission, CatholicCare Tasmania

CatholicCare Tasmania staff in the Housing Connect Support (HCS) program are struggling to keep up with requests for help. Around six new people are referred to HCS every day from Colony 47- the first point of call for people who experience housing insecurity or homelessness. Despite CatholicCare and Centacare Evolve Housing leading the way in housing construction, and managing more affordable homes than any other community housing provider in Tasmania, homeless services are still beyond stretching point. There simply are not enough houses at an affordable rent to meet the growing demand.

Tasmania is now the second least affordable state to live, second only to New South Wales. Rent has increased 22% in the last year. Houses are increasingly used for short stay accommodation - reducing the number of houses available for people to rent. Tasmania has comparatively lower incomes and higher costs of living, both of which contribute to our current housing crisis. Sadly this results in many families having to resort to sleeping in their car, in a tent, or couch surfing.

Archbishop Julian Porteous has initiated a task force (Homelessness Archdiocesan Response Taskforce - HART) to look at how the Church can increase help for those who are struggling. This recently included inviting parish councils to consider how their parish might be able to assist with the housing crisis in their local area.

This year’s social justice statement from the Australian Bishops for Social Justice Sunday (the last Sunday in September) is called A Place to Call Home: Making a home for everyone in our land. It can be accessed on the web or by contacting CatholicCare, and it provides a comprehensive overview of the current crisis. It is a great source of reflection for those who want to learn more.

Each of us has a responsibility to our neighbour in need. Christ’s words stir our hearts, “I was a stranger and you did not welcome me... Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me” (Mt 25:43-45).

Do you have an investment property that you could rent to people looking for affordable accommodation?, do you pray for all the staff and clients in this area, could you make a donation to the HCS program or volunteer a few hours each week to help with their work load? Everyone deserves a place to call home.