FOR this year's annual Awareness Week, The Country Women's Association (CWA) is pushing for the urgent need of more social and affordable housing across the Mid North Coast.
The campaign runs from September 5 to 11 and has a particular emphasis on the housing need in rural and regional NSW, as well as on women over 55 who are the fastest growing cohort of homeless people in Australia.
"We appreciate state and federal governments are putting resources towards social and affordable housing, but it is not keeping pace with the current demand, and the demand expected in the future," said Stephanie Stanhope, President of the CWA of NSW.
Kempsey branch President, Colleen Waterson, was passionate about the subject.
"The Awareness Week is an absolute must, we should be looking out for the homeless people better than what we all are," Ms Waterson said.
"Due to COVID, all we can do at the moment is be aware of it, but just to keep pushing and pushing like the CWA does."
The CWA of NSW is working with Mission Australia on this year's campaign, the organisation believing access to safe and secure housing is an integral part of independence and connection within a community, and something every person deserves.
Mission Australia supports people who are homeless to find housing and those at risk of becoming homeless to stay housed. This includes women and children escaping domestic and family violence, young people and people with complex needs.
"This is a constant challenge in an environment where there is such a chronic shortage of affordable housing," said Nada Nasser, Mission Australia's State Director (NSW/ACT/VIC).
"Affordable housing is an essential solution for individuals or families on low to moderate incomes finding it difficult to secure housing in the private rental market. Currently, Mission Australia Housing provides more than 3000 social and affordable homes across NSW, Tasmania and Queensland.
"With COVID-19 increasingly impacting people outside of Greater Sydney there is an urgent need for the NSW Government to invest in more social and affordable housing and there needs to be affordable housing options for different household sizes. Overcrowding can lead to the increased spread of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases.
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