Albany group unites to give voice to locals caught in housing crisis
A grassroots community group is taking Albany’s housing crisis into its own hands and wants to gather the stories behind the issue to push for action.
Rooves and Floors in Albany started as a Facebook group early last month to connect locals caught in the region’s housing crisis.
The forum was started by Albany woman Sherree Parsons, who is staring down homelessness herself, as a way to connect with other people experiencing the same situation and understand the bigger picture.
It has since grown to more than 100 members, bringing people together to brainstorm solutions.
After holding a community meeting last week, the group is now working to gather anonymous stories from people who are facing housing insecurity or have made it through.
From couch surfing, sleeping in caravans and tents to sleeping rough, RAFIA spokeswoman Yana Appleton said the group wanted to collect as many stories as possible to illustrate to the council and State Government the depth of Albany’s housing issues.
“That will give us a base to go ‘here is the problem and it is a lot bigger than people realise’,” she said.
“It is not just about people that are currently homeless, it is about people that are almost homeless or could be at any moment.
“Rooves and Floors is also a way for the community to come together and brainstorm, thinking outside the box.
“At the moment we are just not seeing anything actually happen so we wanted to form a group to take it upon ourselves to say, ‘right, what are we going to do about it?’ rather than waiting on someone else to come and save us.”
The group is working with another community initiative, The Commons, which is set to open a volunteer-led drop-in space at a vacant shopfront at Spencer Park Shopping Centre.
The Commons would be a place where anyone could drop in and have a chat, a cuppa, find resources and even wash their clothes.
To submit your story contact firstname.lastname@example.org or drop it off to collection boxes outside Icky Finks and IGA stores on North Road, Spencer Park and York Street.
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