Speaking out against the housing crisis

Rallying for housing in Geelong. Photo: Geelong Housing Action Group/Facebook

Co-convenor of Geelong Housing Action Group (GHAG) Angela Carr told a protest on August 6 that the reasons for rallying are clear: housing is a human right.

“We want people in Geelong to understand [that] fundamentally housing is a human right,” she said.

Around 60 people gathered in Market Square to hear speakers describe how public housing had given them the stability they needed to get on with their lives.

“We live in a very wealthy nation and we shouldn't be having people going hungry and going without a roof over their head,” Carr said.

Housing and homelessness advocate and GHAG organiser Lisa Carberry and Sarah Mansfield, a Greens councillor also spoke.

GHAG wants the state government to improve its social housing commitment of 12,000 social housing properties over four years. “We currently have 110,000 people on the waiting list in Victoria. What's being promised is not enough,” Carr said.

People from different backgrounds are finding it harder to find secure and safe accommodation: regional housing is under pressure as people move out of cities, in part due to the pandemic.

The Victorian government is attempting to improve the amount of social housing by renewing some of the aging public housing stock. But it does not appear to recognise the problems caused when people are displaced from their communities.