Housing is a Human Right!

Everyone in our community has a right to a home. A home is more than just a roof over one’s head. A home is a place where you can belong. A place where you feel safe. A place where you can build a life.

However, every night, around 1,600 people in the ACT do not have a place they can call home. These people may be forced to sleep in their cars, a friend’s garage, on a couch or wherever else they can find.

Even with available ACT Government initiatives, it can take a family more than six months to access public housing. In many other cases, families will have to wait even longer – an average of three and a half years. If you are on the Jobseeker or Youth Allowance, it is impossible to afford a private rental property.

Will you join us in bringing this to an end? Will you join us in asking the ACT Government to include the Right to Housing in the ACT Human Rights Act?

We support the initiatives by the ACT Government such as the Axial Housing Project, but it is time to take the next step. For a Housing First approach to be truly effective, housing needs to be recognised as a basic and fundamental human right.

If housing is a human right, the ACT Government can act in a whole of government approach. That means, the ACT Government can provide housing in a coordinated and integrated way. This avoids a band-aid approach which is not working. A human rights-based approach leads to better outcomes for the community in areas such as acute health management, crisis accommodation, and criminal justice.

We have seen, during the COVID-19 pandemic, that when the whole of government pulls together we can safely and efficiently house people. We ask for this commitment to continue. We should not have to wait for a pandemic to finally do the right thing for those with no place to call home.

Everyone has the right to a home.