Sun 24th May, 6:30pm: Conversations about Church and Feminism - Carol Rowley Hirt, Rebecca Oliver interviewed by Rev. Dr. John Hirt
Sun 31st May 6:30pm: Supporting LGBTIQ inclusion in the church – Rev. Dr. John Hirt
Sun 21st June, 6:30pm: Theology of ISIS: Christian Discipleship and the reality of evil – Dr. Ben Cross
Sun 28th June: 6:30pm, Merdeka! Free West Papua! - Henry Onzem
Affordable Housing Forum a Success!
Sally Andrews - 2nd May 2015
On the evening of the 18th March, with less than a fortnight from the state election, the two frontrunner candidates- incumbent Greens MP Jamie Parker, and the ALP’s challenger Verity Firth- convened at Leichhardt Uniting Church for a rather unusual community forum. Rather than grilling the candidates on who held the strongest commitment to ‘traditional families’ and bleating over the declining prominence of nativity scenes in shopping centres, the topic of the evening was affordable housing.
Leichhardt Uniting Church is currently advocating for #JusticeForGenerations. This is a proposal which aims to transform existing run-down Uniting Care sites in Leichhardt into three landmark affordable housing projects, a development model which could form a new framework for invigorating communities around NSW. With the proposals encompassing dedicated aged care, disability, key worker and student housing opportunities, Uniting Care is committed to working in close consultation with Leichhardt Council and the broader community.
As the housing market in Sydney continues its spiral into absurdity, the people of Leichhardt Uniting Church organised this forum as a means to communicate to their future state member that the increasing difficulty of renting, let alone buying in the area, alongside the fear that Balmain’s gentrification is coming at the cost of diversity and justice for lower income residents, are real concerns for the community. The forum was an opportunity to obtain commitments of substance from the candidates, both at a personal level in supporting the #JusticeForGenerations housing initiative, and within the broader context of state government policy.
Congregants from Leichhardt Uniting Church spoke of their differing struggles in finding housing in Sydney: a young woman still living with her parents at 36; a migrant social worker who can barely afford to live in the city with the families she services; a young gay man seeking acceptance and safety beyond his rural hometown. With 106 community members in attendance and passionate submissions from church leaders on the need to address this problem, the candidates responded in kind. Verity and Jamie came back with concrete responses, committing to quarterly meetings with the church, advocacy within the Parliament, and accountability before the community in implementing housing solutions.
Recognising that this issue is one that affects all demographics in Sydney, Leichhardt Uniting Church’s #JusticeForGenerations project may be just a small contribution towards changing the debate surrounding the Sydney housing crisis, but we believe it is an important step towards ensuring that justice, diversity and community interest will play a key role in forming the future of housing in Leichhardt.
Why do we care about Affordable Housing?
At Leichhardt Uniting Church we are passionate about building a just and equitable community where all can find shelter and flourish.
Together with Unitingcare Aging, our Church aspires to turn local properties in Leichhardt, including Harold Hawkins Court and sections of Wetherill street, into affordable housing. We believe these locations could be rebuilt to better serve their residents and the local community.
These developments could create up to 220 affordable housing units, including homes for young people, key workers (teachers, nurses, police, social workers, child care workers, cleaners, transport workers) and seniors.
These developments will be financed entirely by UnitingCare and the Uniting Church so there will be no cost to taxpayers or ratepayers.
The plans are currently before Leichhardt Council.
Affordable Housing Candidates Forum
With Verity Firth (Labor) and Jamie Parker (Greens)
March 18th 2015
3 Wetherill St, Leichhardt
6:45pm for 7-8pm
Housing affordability is at an all time low.
Sydney is the fourth most expensive city in the world.
Leichhardt is a cosmopolitan village with a strong sense of social justice, populated by people from many different backgrounds. However, it is quickly becoming one of the least affordable suburbs in Sydney.
Residents from the electorate of Balmain are invited to join us as we ask candidates for the state election Jamie Parker (Greens) and Verity Firth (Labor) for their plan and commitments to making housing more affordable in our city.
PLACES ARE LIMITED, PLEASE REGISTER AT: http://tinyurl.com/pxx64h2
Justice for Generations
Affordable Housing Campaign
Leichhardt Uniting Church
For more information please contact
Sierra Hirt 0401 675 949