Churches and faith-based organisations, alongside the many individual philanthropists, corporate and community leaders who are driven by their personal faith and values, all play an important role in contributing to the wellbeing of society, and in building thriving families and communities.
Some might say it is critical role, as the focus and support of governments can shift and change and funding for a range of services and programs can ebb and flow with those changes.
The Church broadly, and the faith-based organisations and individuals, have been there supporting the vulnerable and influencing policy for centuries. Alongside historical periods of failure for some, has been a huge contribution of good works across the centuries that often does not get enough recognition.
With the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, the right to adequate housing joined the body of international, universally applicable, and universally accepted human rights law. Accordingly, safe, secure, and adequate housing is universally viewed as one of the most basic human needs.
The significance of a secure place to live for human dignity, physical and mental health, and overall quality of life is at the heart of the work at Churches Housing in partnership with our members and the NSW government, to provide social and affordable housing in our State.
Housing is essential to human flourishing. Without stable shelter, it all falls apart.
I am a firm believer of the view of scholar Professor Matthew Desmond who states that “we can start with housing, the sturdiest of footholds for economic mobility. A national affordable housing program would be an anti-poverty effort, human capital investment, community improvement plan, and public health initiative all rolled into one.”
The power of collaboration and partnerships is a tremendous thing. I look forward to contributing further to this important work. I am a great supporter of cross-sector collaborations so that those we seek to support receive the highest level of advantage – and I look forward to working alongside other peak bodies, in our mutual endeavours. I also look forward to engaging with researchers and policy makers as we work toward the provision of safe, secure and affordable housing as a basic human right.
In the coming quarter I hope to visit our members and listen to how we might add value to their work and strengthen services and support as we move forward into ‘post pandemic’ life and a new strategic period at Churches Housing.
I arrived on the 10th of May to a rich legacy here at Churches Housing established by the late Derek Yule and continued by Magnus Linder, and to a warm welcome from the Board for which I am most appreciative.
I hope to meet many of you soon, as we journey on. If you are not connected with me on LinkedIn please do, and please feel free to contact me if you would like me to visit.