About 600 people from across Sydney came together on Wednesday to make impassioned pleas for the housing affordability crisis to be tackled, ABC News reports.
The forum saw a diverse group converge on St Mary's Cathedral Hall and take a stand against the price of housing in Sydney.
Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP attended and mingled with other faith groups, single mums, business leaders, trade unionists and former homeless drug addicts.
Magnus Linder, executive officer of Churches Housing and the chair of the Sydney Alliance Housing Team, said people were deserting Sydney because of the cost of housing and rent.
He said some were foregoing expenses in areas most of us would take for granted.
"People are choosing not to go to the dentist because they have to choose to pay the rent and so they'll just let the tooth rot and fall out," he said. "Some people are choosing not to eat because they need to pay the rent or make the decision, 'well I'll feed the kids and I'll go without'."
The Sydney Alliance, which organised the forum, wants inclusionary zoning targets for affordable rental housing.
Mr Linder said the market was broken and the government needed to give local councils greater freedom to enact affordable rental housing policies.
On his Facebook page, Archbishop Fisher thanked the attendees for acknowledging that "the housing crisis is real, urgent and needs to be addressed for the good of all".
"At the centre of the vague term 'housing affordability' are the one in 200 Australians who have no roof over their head this cold night, those wondering if they will have one this time next month, and those struggle for the survival of themselves and their families," he wrote.
"This is an issue close to the religious heart and the heart of the broader community. The Good Samaritan did not ask if the victim was one of the 'deserving poor,' and whether his own actions had contributed to his situation."
Archbishop Anthony Fisher on the forum (Facebook)