Housing Crisis: NEW STUDY SHOWS ONE MILLION HOMES NEEDED

Housing Crisis: NEW STUDY SHOWS ONE MILLION HOMES NEEDED

image: Northern Star

New national research backs the Northern Rivers community’s call to address the housing crisis in our region, where over 12,000 households are experiencing rental stress and more than 3,000 households are on the social housing waitlist.

The research is contained in a just-released report from the University of NSW’s City Futures Research Centre and finds more than one million social and affordable homes need to be built across Australia by 2036 just to meet current demand and keep pace with population growth.

Social Futures CEO and President of the NSW Council of Social Service, Tony Davies said the research also revealed the current social and affordable housing shortfall in NSW was 216,400 homes with the shortage particularly acute in the Northern Rivers.

Read the media release

Write to your local candidate and as what they’ll do about housing if elected?

$11.5K Prizes for young songwriters

$11.5K Prizes for young songwriters

Deb Hall with prizes from RODE microphonesEntrants in the Lismore Young Songwriters Competition this year are in the running to win $11,500 of prizes.

Deb Hall from one of the organising partners Social Futures hopes young people will be encouraged to enter and help fire up their musical careers. “Our two top prizes are valued at almost $4,000 each. The winners will have their songs professionally recorded and receive double passes to Splendour in the Grass and Professional Performer Kits from RØDE,” Ms Hall said.

On 12 April, the People’s Choice Award winner will be selected by the audience at the Finals Showcase, to win a hi-fi system valued at $2,000, a mastered track recording and a Studio Recording Kit.”

Five runners-up prizes include professional quality microphones and paid gigs at Crankfest. All finalists will have access to songwriting masterclasses at Southern Cross University during the year.

Entries close at midnight on 25 March 2019. Get all the details about how to enter or like and follow the competition’s Facebook page.

Read the full media release

The Lismore Young Songwriters Competition is organised and supported by Social Futures and its programs headspace Lismore and The Clubhouse, Southern Cross University and the Northern Rivers Conservatorium. We are also grateful for prizes from sponsors Rockinghorse Studios, SAE Creative Media Institute Byron Bay, Splendour in the Grass, RØDE Microphones, The Audio Room, Crankfest, NORPA and Lismore City Council.

Jordan swaps Struggle Street for a social whirl

Jordan swaps Struggle Street for a social whirl

When Denise gave birth to her son Jordan, the main concern was that he was three months premature. 

 

“He was born early due to an infection but beyond that he was just a normal, beautiful baby boy,” she says.

But shortly after Jordan returned home with his parents, disaster struck. He experienced two cerebral haemorrhages in quick succession and never properly recovered.

“We suspect that Jordan was sent home too early – we’ll never know for sure but the upshot is that Jordan has been left with cerebral palsy, brain damage, a hearing impairment, and loss of function in both legs and one of his arms,” Maree says.

Doing it tough

Life has been a struggle for Denise and her family, who live in NSW’s central west region. Jordan’s various conditions have required 10 or more visits to Sydney most years for specialist appointments and treatments, including annual splints fitting.

“It was always a juggle trying to find somewhere affordable to stay in Sydney, and we always had to bring Jordan’s older brother Josh along when he was younger,” she says.

“We had some State Government-funded early intervention support before Jordan went to school but once he was at school, we got nothing. We could never afford holidays.”

Despite the many obstacles Jordan made it all the way through school to Year 12 in a supported class, where he made many friends.

“Jordan is very social and he was happy at school. Now that he has received his National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) package and is receiving centre-based care through Breakthru People Solutions, it turns out most of his old school buddies are there as well – he just loves it.”

Change for the better

With the support of Social Futures Local Area Coordinator Matt, Jordan’s plan funds four days a week of centre-based activities, as well as one-on-one respite care at home on some weekday evenings. He also attends Zumba on a Thursday evening and social outings on Saturday nights.

“Jordan’s now 25 and really enjoys the big social vibe of his Saturday night group – there’s about 20 of them and they go out for dinner, see live music, go to the speedway, all the things young people of his age love doing. He’s got his own carer but they’re about the same age so it all feels very natural.

“It’s good for me too, because whenever Jordan goes out, so do I. I’d forgotten what freedom felt like.”

Jordan’s NDIS plan has also funded a new wheelchair, and shortly he will have an electric bed that he can self-adjust to help him cope with his chronic reflux. Next up is an assessment for car modifications so that Jordan can get in and out of the family car independently.

“Jordan is so much happier now – we all have space in our lives and the future is looking really positive,” Denise says.

 

“Jordan is so much happier now – we all have space in our lives and the future is looking really positive” (Denise)

Denise

Jordan's mother

Jordan’s NDIS supports have helped him:

  • Engage in community and social activities
  • Get a new wheelchair
  • Exercise
  • Achieve more independence

Social Futures is a National Disability Insurance Scheme Partner in the Community.
Our Local Area Coordination services connect participants to the NDIS in regional New South Wales.

To contact your nearest LAC call 1800 522 679

Read more participant stories

Jordan swaps Struggle Street for a social whirl

When Denise gave birth to her son Jordan, the main concern was that he was three months premature.    “He was born early due to an infection but beyond that he was just a normal, beautiful baby boy,” she says. But shortly after Jordan returned home with his...

read more

Roger steals the show

The first words out of Roger’s mouth each morning when he wakes up are ‘Tuesday’ and ‘Thursday’, because he’s hoping it is a day he can go to the Vivability day program that he loves. He can access the program with funding in his National Disability Insurance Scheme...

read more

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Pre-election Housing Forum BALLINA 5 March

Pre-election Housing Forum BALLINA 5 March

On Tuesday 5 March, Homelessness NSW and the New South Wales Council of Social Service will provide an opportunity for Northern Rivers residents to put their questions about housing to candidates standing for the NSW Elections on 23 March.

The Northern Rivers event, one of just three such events in the state is supported by the Northern Rivers Housing Forum, which is convened by Social Futures.

Housing affordability and homelessness are both at crisis points in Northern NSW, with high rates of rough sleepers (ABS Census 2016) and some of the most unaffordable housing in the world, according to a recent report for North Coast Community Housing.

Residents are very concerned

“Northern rivers residents are rightly concerned about housing and homelessness in our region” says Tony Davies, CEO of Social Futures “and many will be considering what the candidates have to say on the issue to inform their vote.”

Last October, the Northern Rivers Housing Forum event in Lennox Head developed an URGENT action plan to address the housing crisis in the region. Since then, it has been encouraging voters to contact their local candidates and asking what they intend to do about it if elected to represent them on 23 March.

So many plusses to Northern Rivers buses

So many plusses to Northern Rivers buses

Jacqui Alienatwe and others on the bus

Jacqui Alienaitwe (far right) is a regular commuter from Ballina to Lismore

A local bus devotee is on a quest to change people’s perception about catching public transport just in time for #CarFreeFeb.

Ballina local, Jacqueline Alinaitwe has been catching the new Ballina – Byron – Lismore commuter bus since the trial route began in December 2017 and says it saves her time, money and stress.

“It’s just 40 minutes from Ballina to the centre of Lismore, and though travel by car might be slightly quicker, when you take into account all that you can do on the bus, it actually saves you so much time,” Ms Alinaitwe said.

“You can read a book, catch up on work, and some buses have free Wi-Fi so you can get your social media fix on the bus, giving you more time to spend with your family at home. When I catch the bus I’m not as stressed because I’m not worrying about the journey home, crazy drivers or parking worries, and there are cost savings also,” Ms Alinaitwe said.

Ms Alinaitwe calculated the cost of her weekly bus pass to be almost half the cost of the petrol used when was driving and said she was also saving wear and tear on her own vehicle.

Read the whole story here in our Media Release

Free bus travel on 28 February!

Free bus travel on 28 February!

Will you take the challenge, top of CFF posterNorthern Rivers residents are invited to try alternatives to car travel next week. Seven local bus companies are giving passengers FREE BUS TRAVEL on Thursday 28 February.

“In regional areas, we often we jump in the car and drive where we need to go without thinking” says Tony Davies, Chief Executive of Social Futures, “but sometimes catching the bus is a viable option, and this is the perfect day to find out.”

“For example, contrary to popular myth, more than 50 bus services run to and from LIsmore every day,” he added “and it doesn’t stop there. Car Free Feb is all about raising awareness of other travel options. You can walk, ride, skateboard, scooter or car pool.

“You don’t need to register for free bus travel. Just get on the bus and ride free for the whole day.”

#CarFreeFeb Competition

Prizes

TWO 12-month Premium Spotify subscriptions and THREE $120 credit vouchers for travel with any participating bus company.

To enter

Simply post a picture of yourself going ‘Car Free’ on the Social Futures Facebook page up until midnight on 28 February .

Travel FREE on 28 February with any of the following bus operators:

• Northern Rivers Buslines
• Blanch’s Bus Company
• Ballina Buslines
• Watsons Bus Company
• Wallers Bus Company
• Casino Bus Service
• Busways

Find out more about transport options in the Northern Rivers visit www.goingplaces.org.au

Tweed is first cab off the rank for transport information day

Tweed is first cab off the rank for transport information day

a Surfside bus onboards a passenger in Tweed

Image courtesy Surfside Buslines

Tweed residents are invited to have their transport questions answered at Tweed City Shopping Centre on 28 February from 9am-2pm.

Tony Davies, CEO of Social Futures who is presenting the day in partnership with transport operators and Tweed Council says invites Tweed residents to come and find out about the local public and community transport options.

“While regional areas do experience transport disadvantage in comparison to urban areas, there are options available. Information days like these are a great opportunity to find out about the services that are out there,” Mr Davies said.

“Days like these also provide a valuable chance to speak to the community about their transport needs which can feed into future planning for the region.”

For information on public transport in the Tweed visit goingplaces.org.au

Download the media release
Roger steals the show

Roger steals the show

The first words out of Roger’s mouth each morning when he wakes up are ‘Tuesday’ and ‘Thursday’, because he’s hoping it is a day he can go to the Vivability day program that he loves. He can access the program with funding in his National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan.

Roger is now on his second plan and going from strength to strength. His family couldn’t be happier.

Roger’s parents, John and Esme, care for their 50-year-old son who was born with Down Syndrome and a bowel deformity.

 “Before we were introduced to the NDIS Roger spent all of his time with us. We took him on as many outings as we could but he didn’t want to be active, he was too unwell,” Esme says.

“It was also very draining on us to try and find him activities to do and being older people, we were slowing down.”

Joining the NDIS

Roger, John and Esme were introduced to the NDIS through Gemma Nixon, an occupational therapist at Integrity Therapy Services in Blayney, and then through Social Futures which delivers the NDIS in Western NSW as a Partner in the Community.

Roger’s Local Area Coordinator (LAC), Eliza, helped him access the scheme, gathered information around Roger’s goals, supported the family into the NDIS pathway, explained Roger’s first plan and empowered the family to take control of Roger’s care.

“Eliza was fantastic, very professional and fully explained the program. We could ring at any time to get information. The communication process has been a major plus for us and Eliza was always able to point us in the right direction,” John says.

Making community connections

“The change in Roger is incredible.  It is now easier to get him out of bed on the mornings he has his day program in Bathurst, he’s very excited. He’s made connections in the community. We’ll be walking down the street and everyone will be waving and saying hello to Roger.”

“When Roger gets dropped back home from the day program he doesn’t want to come back inside, he wants to get back in the car and do it all over again,” Esme says.

“Roger has made such an impact on another person at the day program that one day when Roger was unable to attend, his friend picked his picture off the wall and put it on the chair next to him so he wouldn’t miss out.”

Boosting his confidence

As part of the day program, the group was invited to perform at the Bathurst Eisteddfod.

“Roger loves singing and dancing and he went up on that stage so confidently, normally he would be so nervous. It was the confidence that he showed that amazed us, it’s been tremendously boosted because of the NDIS this last six months,” Esme says.

“Even though Roger is very fortunate to have the support of his extended family, it is so good that  he now has the support of a network of other people to care for him and it’s so important for us to get him involved in the community. The NDIS has taken a lot of strain and worry off us for when we won’t be able to look after Roger by ourselves anymore.”

“Thank goodness for the NDIS. We are just so happy.”

John and Esme

Roger's parents

Roger’s NDIS supports have helped him:

  • Spend more time in the community and build meaningful connections
  • Access programs that suit his needs
  • Reduce pressure on his ageing parents and let them choose providers that work for the whole family  
  • Increase his confidence and become more active

Social Futures is a National Disability Insurance Scheme Partner in the Community.
Our Local Area Coordination services connect participants to the NDIS in regional New South Wales.

To contact your nearest LAC call 1800 522 679

Read more participant stories

Jordan swaps Struggle Street for a social whirl

When Denise gave birth to her son Jordan, the main concern was that he was three months premature.    “He was born early due to an infection but beyond that he was just a normal, beautiful baby boy,” she says. But shortly after Jordan returned home with his...

read more

Roger steals the show

The first words out of Roger’s mouth each morning when he wakes up are ‘Tuesday’ and ‘Thursday’, because he’s hoping it is a day he can go to the Vivability day program that he loves. He can access the program with funding in his National Disability Insurance Scheme...

read more

Get new stories from NDIS Participants in your inbox

* indicates required



Clubhouse seeking volunteers

Clubhouse seeking volunteers

Do you want to inspire young people? 

We are on the lookout for energetic people to teach, encourage and inspire our members.

If you have skills and interests in fields like: Engineering, Robotics, Coding, Electronics, Science, Technology or Maths – the Lismore Clubhouse wants to hear from you!

Up to ten supported volunteer mentor positions are available where you can gain great experience teaching and working with young people. Volunteer times are also recognised by Centrelink.

About The Clubhouse

Part of an International Network of almost 100 Clubhouses in 19 countries worldwide, our Lismore based Clubhouse is the ONLY Clubhouse in regional Australia and one of only four in the country.

The Clubhouse delivers a free safe and creative after school space for young people, where mentors work to help them to explore their own ideas, develop skills, and build confidence through the use of technology.

Our Clubhouse encourages young people to think more positively and ambitiously about their futures. It has a positive impact upon attitudes to school, furthering education, and studying STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics and Music).

We want our young people to reach their potential – can you help us?

You can commit to as little as 3 hours a week for six months as a Clubhouse Mentor (or by arrangement).

Benefits of Mentoring

  • The opportunity to explore your interests in a cutting edge environment
  • The opportunity to help young people build skills and confidence
  • Experience teaching and working with young people
  • Orientation to the Computer Clubhouse
  • Training as needed while mentoring

Contact us today!

If you are 19 years or older contact our Clubhouse Coordinator today on 0428 599 157 to discuss how you can help to inspire our next generation.

Young Songwriters Competition now open for entries!

Young Songwriters Competition now open for entries!

2019 banner featuring teenage girl singingThe ninth Lismore Young Songwriters Competition is now open for entries from 12-25 year old Northern Rivers residents.

Deb Hall from Social Futures – one of the organising committee says the competition is an incredible avenue for regional young songwriters to showcase their song writing and performing talents.

“There are fantastic prizes up for grabs aimed to help young musicians get a leg up in their music career, including professional studio recording time” Ms Hall said. “Selected finalists also get the chance to perform to a live audience when they battle it out for prizes at the Finalist’s Showcase at Southern Cross University on Friday 12 April.”

GO TO THE MAIN PAGE FOR DETAILS OF HOW TO ENTER

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