Habitat for Humanity Australia will be the City of Sydney’s official charity partner for 2015 Sydney New Year’s Eve.
“We are proud to be partnering with the City of Sydney,” said Martin Thomas, chief executive of Habitat for Humanity Australia.
“The spotlight is on Sydney on New Year’s Eve and we will be using this as an opportunity to shine a light on the need for safe and decent housing across the Asia Pacific region.”
Every day an estimated 120,000 new people are migrating from rural areas to cities across Asia. Mr Thomas said the failure to house these people is creating a shelter crisis with slum populations expected to reach 840 million people by the end of the decade.
Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with families and communities to build safe and affordable homes, providing the foundation for families to be healthier, happier and more secure and for children to be better nourished and better educated.
This need for safe and decent housing is not only limited to the Asia Pacific region. Australia is in the grip of a housing affordability crisis that is hitting low-income families the hardest.
“For many Australians the prospect of home ownership is well beyond their reach,” said Mr Thomas. “At the same time the number of families facing insecure housing, waiting lists for social housing, and unaffordable rents continues to rise.”
With public housing waiting lists stretching more than ten years in some parts of Australia and estimated housing shortages of over 500,000 affordable properties for low-income renters, Habitat for Humanity is stressing the urgent need to find new solutions to the housing challenge at home.
In New South Wales, one such approach will see the organisation build seven affordable homes for families in Tamworth.
“We hope to encourage both the live audience and those watching on TV to reflect on the importance of home and the things that we in Australia often take for granted while enjoying the celebrations,” said Mr Thomas.
Habitat for Humanity will engage the Australian public through the New Year’s Eve celebrations, and encourage them to take action to help solve poverty.
“There are many ways to get involved and make a difference,” said Mr Thomas. “From donating and fundraising, raising awareness of the issues around housing poverty, or getting your hands dirty by volunteering with us.”
Habitat for Humanity will announce more details on their 2015 Sydney New Year’s Eve campaign in the coming weeks.