The community of West Heidelberg in Jagajaga are doing their bit to tackle homelessness. Led by the indefatigable Brother Harry, they have rescued four local houses slated for demolition and turned them into affordable housing. This will mean 14 disadvantaged people will have an affordable place to stay. More than 60 people volunteered their time and worked on making sure that these houses were liveable—renovating, doing plumbing, fixing the gardens. Olympic Adult Education took over the leases of the properties from Banyule council and provided volunteers to help fix them up. Our well-known and well-loved community group 3081 Angels donated baby clothes, kitchenware and other goods.

I want to thank and congratulate everyone involved in this project. They are truly showing what community effort can achieve. You could say they are ‘putting a positive spin on homelessness’—but they shouldn’t have to. The people of West Heidelberg deserve a federal government that is invested in tackling homelessness, a federal government that is doing its fair share to invest in social housing. I’ll be standing up for the people of West Heidelberg and for people across Jagajaga who need affordable housing. Labor knows that secure housing is the foundation for people to build better lives. Thank you again to everyone involved in this incredible community project.

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