Hear about housing initiatives

My Home Network speakers at the event (left to right): Kaz Neilson, Terry White, Kez Jennings, Kathryn Mc Goldrick. (Seated): Margaret Griffin and Di Cox. Absent from the photo: Alison Whitten, Michael Mc Mahon and Mary-Faeth Chenery.

Residents can hear updates on a range of projects and initiatives under way that address the region’s housing crisis at a free community forum being held in Castlemaine at the end of the month. 

My Home Network will present the forum at the Goods Shed in Kennedy Street from 6.30pm (for 7pm start) to 9pm, on Thursday November 30. 

“The Mount Alexander Shire community believes in housing justice and everyone having safe, sustainable, appropriate, secure and affordable housing,” spokesperson Kaz Neilson said. 

“We are so fortunate to have so many passionate, skilled and talented locals working together on a range of creative, ‘out-of-the-box’ initiatives and proposals to help achieve that. 

“These initiatives are part of a local integrated approach – from the pointy end of homelessness/unhoused, to using current housing to better capacity, increasing innovative, affordable housing models, improving housing energy efficiency, housing climate resilience and equitable access to affordable renewable electricity, as this directly impacts on health and wellbeing and cost of living. 

“MHN has also advocated on a whole range of issues and wider system change. We are pleased to see an increase in state and federal government social housing funding and state government legislative improvements regarding vacant dwellings and secondary dwellings.” 

Ms Neilson said the community forum would feature updates from community organisations and MHN Working Groups on a range of initiatives currently underway, including Local Help at Hand, Rough Sleeper Action Group, Homeshare, release of vacant dwellings as affordable rentals or transition housing, Tiny Homes On Wheels, social housing retrofitting, climate resilient housing, Older Women in Co-housing, collective advocacy and more. 

“We are particularly excited about updating the community on Homeshare. This is a very practical example of an initiative enabled by My Home Network through its community engagement and support, integrated approach and support from Dhelkaya Health,” Ms Neilson said. 

“With Homeshare, a householder can provide a room in their home to a home sharer in exchange for practical assistance and companionship. It also aims to build social connections and personal health and wellbeing.” 

“Our housing crisis is worsening,” Ms Neilson said. 

“With soaring living and rental costs, lack of available, affordable housing, thousands more are just getting by. Housing is a basic human right. It shouldn’t – and needn’t – be like this.” 

My Home Network is auspiced by Dhelkaya Health and made up of passionate community members, locals with lived experience of the housing crisis, and representatives from local housing initiatives, community, and government organisations. 

People wanting to attend the forum can register at www.trybooking.com/CNAST or email cneilson@castlemainehealth.org.au