There is an ever increasing need for more affordable housing stock in the ACT region. Organisations that specialise in providing such housing are doing what they can to improve this situation, but are limited by funding constraints. Public housing provided by the ACT Government is also limited.
The issue of providing more affordable housing and to house the homeless became a national priority under the Rudd Government, and this gave rise to the establishment of Rooftop Foundation Incorporated in January 2009.
According to St. Vincent De Paul, 1 in every 330 people are experiencing homelessness on any given night in Canberra. On the night of the ABS 2006 census there were 105,000 people experiencing homelessness nationally, and 1,364 people were homeless in the ACT. These figures covered all three types of homelessness: (a) sleeping rough; (b) couch surfing at a friend’s place; or (c) living in short term accommodation (Boarding House, Caravan Park, Motel, etc). The numbers of homeless in the ACT have increased since this census, as in November to December 2010 alone 826 new people became homeless.
The Rooftop Foundation Inc. is working with community groups such as Richmond Fellowship, Neighbourhood Watch and Canberra businesses who share the same vision, to assist in reducing homelessness numbers in the ACT and surrounding regions. In association with these organisations, the Rooftop Foundation aims to raise funds to build more affordable homes to allow low to moderate income earners the opportunity to be housed, and to purchase their own home.
This project is being launched at our IGA Rooftop House Gala Dinner on Friday the 31st of October 2014. We are in the early stages of developing a formal partnership with IGA (Metcash) that will enable us to lift our profile, generate significant sponsorship revenue and raise significant funds to start the construction of a 12 Unit shared amenities building with community services. We are liaising with ACT Government as well as the NSW Government to secure sufficient suitable land to enable this project to positively impact on the short term crisis accommodation sector.
More recent projects
Rooftop is now embarking on a major project with IGA East Row, an initiative to build an IGA Rooftop House in the ACT / Queanbeyan region that will provide short term interim accommodation and support for families of individuals from regional areas who are experiencing serious illnesses requiring hospital or specialist treatment where accommodation in the main regional town or major cities are not available or are too expensive. The IGA Rooftop House program will aim to assist those that are experiencing financial difficulties and require housing and community support throughout the treatment process.
This project is being launched at our IGA Rooftop House Gala Dinner on Friday the 31st of October 2014. We are in the early stages of developing a formal partnership with IGA (Metcash) that will enable us to lift our profile, generate significant sponsorship revenue and raise significant funds to start the construction of a 12 Unit shared amenities building with community services. We are liaising with various authorities to secure suitable land to enable this project to proceed.
The IGA Rooftop House Program’s key aim is to provide families of individuals experiencing serious illnesses, affordable crisis accommodation close to hospitals and medical treatment centres. The IGA Rooftop House Program will work closely with a number of community organizations to provide the families and individuals with support, including programs that allow families access to additional support once hospital or specialist treatment is completed.
The Board of Rooftop have had a number of discussions with various community services providers to confirm the need for the IGA Rooftop House. There has been overwhelming support for such a much needed program and there is no doubt that we will secure enormous support from many parts of the community.
The Rooftop Board has chosen Queanbeyan, NSW to establish its first IGA Rooftop House program due to the support and commitment from John Barilaro, the State Member for Eden Monaro. Initial discussion with Mr Barilaro has confirmed that he is very keen to support and drive such a project. Importantly this support includes a willingness to source suitable land for the project.
With the support and commitment of MetCash and IGA nationally, the project can commence immediately starting with the negotiations with various authorities and the Queanbeyan Council to build a purpose-built 12 self-contained 1 and 2 bedroom units with community facilities.
With the success of the first IGA Rooftop House in Queanbeyan, the Board intends to establish an IGA Rooftop House in other towns and cities nearest to the local hospitals and treatment centres.
The need to establish the IGA Rooftop House program is now more critical than ever before as access to and availability of affordable housing / crisis accommodation has become more and more limited. The families / carers of individuals living with serious and terminal illnesses require affordable or free accommodation near hospitals and medical care centres in order to be able to provide the close support that really makes a difference.
The accommodation component is an absolutely critical part of the support equation. Close proximity to treatment centres and the ability to live as normal a life as possible without added accommodation costs and travel pressures is an enormous relief for the families already experiencing high levels of stress and financial hardship. The Program not only addresses this, but provides the first step in establishing the IGA Rooftop House program in other States and Territories.