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 homlessness 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, Havelock Housing Association, 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.