Parishes open hearts and homes

Report details the social housing provided through the church (Nick Carson/Wikimedia Commons)

One in five parishes across the Archdiocese of Melbourne is providing housing at low cost in their local community to fulfil the Gospel mission to assist the poor, disadvantaged and marginalised. Source: Catholic Social Services Victoria.

The report, based on a survey carried out by Catholic Social Services Victoria, found 42 parishes and four religious orders are providing housing at low cost for approximately 404 people in 201 dwellings.

“This effort by many volunteers is good news should be celebrated,” it says.

Among those being helped by the affordable housing are 173 elderly people, 87 refugees and asylum seekers, 34 people living with mental illness, eight Aboriginal people, eight people in emergency accommodation, and 94 others.

The report details the findings of a social housing survey conducted by Catholic Social Services Victoria’s Social Housing Working Group across the Archdiocese of Melbourne. It details the social housing provided through the church and identifies potential developments for additional low-cost housing.

“There are approximately 38 properties that could be considered for social housing development projects,” the report finds.

“The Social Housing Working Group is working to engage parishes and religious orders with Catholic social housing providers and support services in order to develop proposals that can be funded to build social housing that is well managed and supported.

“Parishes want to have a voice in decision making around decisions that affect them, their neighbourhood and their community as part of any proposals developed.”

The Ballarat diocese is completing the survey and the Sale and Sandhurst dioceses will be undertaking the survey over the coming months.

“The broader project sees scope to increase the priority of social housing for the Catholic Church in Australia,” the report says.

Catholic Social Services Victoria says the provision of secure and affordable housing is a critical element in addressing disadvantage and vulnerability.

Poor access to housing is strongly linked to poor health, education and justice.


Social housing provided by Catholic Melbourne (Catholic Social Services Victoria)

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