Canberrans believe in taking care of those without a home. Unfortunately, urgently needed supportive housing for older women in Canberra’s inner north is currently being held up by a minority of residents.
That’s why Greater Canberra is calling for all Canberrans to show our support for YWCA’s YHomes social housing project in Ainslie.
We need more social housing
It might go without saying, but social housing matters. As our city keeps growing and house prices keep rising, Canberra will need more public and community-owned homes to support those in need.
But even more importantly, as women’s advocacy organisations across Australia have argued, social housing is particularly crucial for older women at risk of homelessness and women who have experienced domestic violence.
Single mothers are particularly in need of affordable options. Across Australia, more than 100 thousand single parents in low-income households live in rental stress, and more than 90% of whom are women.
Canberra is no exception - our high housing costs mean that, among low-income renters in the private market, we have some of the highest rates of rental stress in the country. This makes it still harder for women at risk of homelessness to find affordable accomodation at short notice.
Importantly, Canberrans understand the need for more social housing. The ACT Government’s August 2021 Community priorities survey found that availability of affordable housing was among Canberrans’ top two highest priorities for the government action.
The YWCA’s development will make a real difference
In light of the ongoing lack of affordable homes in Canberra, the YWCA’s YHomes project in Ainslie is exactly the type of social housing project we need.
The proposal is for a supported housing facility of nine quality dwellings for older women and women with children who have experienced family violence, and will provide much needed affordable homes for women on low incomes to live independently.
YWCA Canberra has a long history of providing essential services to the Canberra community, and as a specialist women’s service they are well equipped to provide supportive accommodation for women of all ages and backgrounds.
There’s just one thing this project needs - your support!
Unfortunately, this much-needed project has previously been held up by a minority of Canberrans, who launched legal challenges that delayed the previously approved development application. The YWCA has now submitted an updated development application to ensure these homes can finally be built.
That’s why Greater Canberra is calling on all Canberrans to show our support for this project. Because the solutions to our national housing crisis are often local. And if crucial projects like these aren’t able to proceed, it’s Canberra’s most vulnerable who will lose out.
It only takes a few minutes to submit a representation in support of the project - you can see more details about how on the YWCA’s website.
And if you’re keen to show your support in person, Greater Canberra has organised a supporters event for 7pm this Wednesday 23 March - you can RSVP via Eventbrite or Facebook. We’ll have information about the project on hand, and computers where you can write a letter in support. Hope to see you there!