Talk to us

CathNews, the most frequently visited Catholic website in Australia, is your daily news service featuring Catholics and Catholicism from home and around the world, Mass on Demand and on line, prayer, meditation, reflections, opinion, and reviews. And, what's more - it's free!

Joshua Lourensz with panellists Zachary Smith, Bronwyn Pike and Sonya Smart (CSSV/Fiona Basile)

Housing and homelessness were key topics of conversation at this year’s Catholic Social Services Victoria annual dinner. Source: Melbourne Catholic. 

More than 110 guests attended the August 25 event in Melbourne and heard a panel conversation on Australia’s housing and homelessness crisis featuring VMCH chief executive Sonya Smart, Uniting Vic.Tas CEO Bronwyn Pike and CFMEU national secretary Zachary Smith.

CSSV executive director Joshua Lourensz told the gathering there had been a 7 per cent increase in homelessness in the past six months.

“From every side and angle, there is stress. We are all being called to think about in our own organisations, in our own communities, in our own parishes, in our own personal lives, what are we doing about this housing crisis?”

Ms Smart explained that affordable housing is “not just about four walls and putting a roof over someone’s head. It’s about providing housing that is accessible, beautiful, comfortable and which is a home. It’s about giving the residents a really good life and lifestyle, which ultimately leads them to feeling healthy, and having better outcomes.”

Mr Smith said his union is calling on the Albanese Government to invest in social and affordable housing in order to address what he considers “the greatest example of inequality in Australia – the inability for every Australian to have a roof over their heads”.

Ms Pike said the house crisis is “often a hidden problem in our community”. 

“It’s people sleeping in cars, people sleeping out of the public view. It’s not necessarily the people that you see lying in the street. And the fact that we do have so many people in our community who can’t find a bed for the night is an absolute national travesty.”

Catholic Social Services Victoria recently released a discussion paper on core concerns around homelessness and housing. Details: Houses as homes discussion paper


‘What are we doing about this housing crisis?’—Catholic social services gather at annual dinner (Melbourne Catholic)