AHURI National Housing Conference wrap

The biennial AHURI National Housing Conference was held in Sydney during the last week of November with more than 1000 delegates, who came from all States and Territories of Australia, for three days of learning, sharing, robust debate and meeting incredibly passionate people.

Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar was one of the attendees. He stressed that: “the Commonwealth sees the future in community housing.” 

In a keynote speech entitled “Getting on the right side of public opinion”  journalist and author George Megalogenous noted that polls show the number one concern of Australian people is housing affordability, closely followed by "middle" Australians now worried about housing opportunities for their children.

George Megalogenous stressed that : ”Now is the time, recounting Australian political history, the changing of public opinion on housing policy, and the opportunity for politicians and policymakers to seize the moment to deliver reform.”

In a keynote presentation by Evan Siddall, the President and CEO of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, said how the voice of people, who had experienced homelessness, was an important part of developing Canada's recently launched National Housing Strategy.Former leader of the Federal Liberal Party, John Hewson, said leadership is needed on tax reform and Australians need to stop kicking difficult problems down the road.

St George Community Housing Scott Langford said: that mandating affordable housing on Government land is a no brainer and a direct and immediate way to encourage affordable housing now.

“There were plenary discussions and workshops on family and domestic violence, noting how housing and homelessness issues can be triggered by domestic and family violence.,” Shelter WA’s Stephen Hall said.

“There was also a strong focus on NDIS, mental health and issues relating to housing for Aboriginal people in remote settings.

“In the homelessness space it was noted that 44 thousand children and young people experience homelessness on any night in Australia. It was also noted there is growing concern about rising homelessness among older people.

Perhaps the most important question in the area of homelessness was: “Are we growing the system, or are we growing the solution?

Prior to the conference, Shelter WA Chief Executive Officer Cameron Poustie and Shelter WA Communications and Engagement Manger Stephen Hall attended meetings of the boards of both Homelessness Australia and National Shelter.

“These meetings are important opportunities to develop policy and discuss national advocacy strategies and campaigns; thereby contributing into the national agenda on behalf of our members,” Mr Hall said.

The conference closed with an announcement that the 2019 Conference will be in Darwin. 




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