CWA fund raising highlights housing crisis

The Country Women’s Association’s (CWA) Umina Beach branch has helped raise over $2,000 to support action on social and affordable housing.

The funds were raised in response to Branch President, Rikki McIntosh’s, sleep out on October 6 (as reported in PP028).

Over two weeks, members delivered letters to mailboxes across the Peninsula asking residents to donate money to support McIntosh’s nocturnal adventure and raised $2,403 raised.

Funds helped the CWA branch purchase sleeping swags for Mary Mac’s Place.

“Thank you to all the residents who supported Umina Beach CWA fundraising for sleeping swags for Mary Mac’s,” Branch publicity officer, Margy Logan, said.

“The CWA of Umina Beach set out to highlight the issue of increasing rents on the Peninsula and how more and more Australians are finding themselves homeless.

“We need many different options to provide a roof for every citizen in our community.

“Our community needs to provide more housing options, so our community remains diverse, vibrant and welcoming.

“This can be low-cost accommodation in single rooms to rent, social housing and low-income housing options.”

The CWA purchased 15 swags with sleeping bags, mattresses and carry bags plus 16 extra sleeping bags with carry bags to help support the local charity.

Practice Manager for CatholicCare’s housing and homelessness programs, Sean McKinnon, said the COVID-19 pandemic and the rental crisis ‘have made for the perfect storm’ for a significant increase in demand for local properties.

“It is thought that the owner-occupancy rates have increased locally, as long-term rental properties have been sold to become family homes,” McKinnon said.

“This, combined with more people shifting into the area, has made the rental market super competitive, and as a result, rent has increased.

“We have seen some rents increase by as much as 20 per cent26 since the pandemic.

“It has turned into a landlord’s market, leaving tenants even more vulnerable.

“The issue is both a Central Coast and regional NSW reality.

“There is speculation that the Central Coast has grown by 40,000 people since the pandemic commenced.

“As a result, demand for rentals has increased everywhere on the Central Coast; this has been further exacerbated by reduced rental stock that has been sold for owner-occupation.

“The Peninsula has been one of the most impacted communities on the Central Coast, and this has been reflected by entries into emergency accommodation by local people.”

Media release, Oct 20
CWA Umina Beach