During this unprecedented time of multiple overlapping crises, solidarity is more important than ever.
While we continue to push for the government to provide greater support to people at risk of homelessness, all levels of government have been too slow to act, and some people still aren't receiving any support.
Most government support services and payments will not take effect immediately. Unfortunately many residents of our city, including international students, migrant workers and many New Zealand citizens who've lived here long-term, are not eligible for government support payments from Centrelink, or any form of government housing.
We are asking residents who are lucky enough to have stable housing with spare bedrooms to consider making a room available to someone who can no longer afford their rent, and is in severe housing stress or at risk of homelessness. Some of these people will be Australian citizens who are waiting for government supports to kick in, others will be non-citizens who are waiting until they can return home or find a new source of income.
We're seeking offers from households who can accommodate someone for free (no rent, no other bills) for a period of eight weeks. In light of the pandemic, we want to minimise the need for people to move from one house to another, so we are not seeking accommodation offers of less than 8 weeks through our office. Once we find housing for someone, we want to encourage them to stay home and not move around unnecessarily during the shutdown.
As we are mindful of the importance of minimising contact between people during the pandemic, we are only seeking separate bedrooms, as opposed to offers of couches or offers to accommodate people in common areas.
Our office will coordinate the matching service, conducting private phone interviews with people seeking accommodation and people offering accommodation, and then introducing people to negotiate further details regarding the conditions of the short-term housing arrangement.
We will not be matching a person seeking accommodation through this particular system if we consider that the individual requires more intensive support and ought to be in a supported accommodation situation with wraparound care, access to social workers etc. If we deem someone to be in need of intensive support, our office will work with them to find supported accommodation through existing government departments, non-government organisations and homelessness support services.
We ask that if you do choose to offer one or more rooms through this service, you agree to the following conditions:
- The room must be provided rent-free
- The room must be furnished, and not shared with anyone else (we might be able to help link you in with free or cheap furniture to furnish your room)
- The room must be made available for a period of at least 8 weeks
We have included a series of checkboxes in this form. Please tick as many as are relevant to your situation, to help us identify who would be a good match for your household.
We are aware that the information collected by this form is limited, so we expect that most people offering rooms will wish to provide additional information about the suitability of your home. If you have any information that we need to know in trying to match you with someone seeking housing, please sign up and then send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will not contact you right away, and we might not contact you at all unless we find someone seeking accommodation who's a good match for you.
We're conscious that opening your home to someone in need is not a decision to be taken lightly, and we're available to chat through any questions or concerns you might have.
Thanks for doing what you can!