Shelter SA’s recent visit to Mount Barker shows that it is young people and older single women who are doing it tough in the Adelaide Hills region when it comes to finding an affordable place to call home. Dr Alice Clark, Executive Director of Shelter SA said, “time and time again, we’ve proven that living in the country doesn’t mean that it's easier for people to find affordable accommodation, nor that there is any less of a homelessness problem”.
Shelter SA’s housing workshop brought together politicians, councillors, residents and housing workers in Mount Barker to highlight the issues unique to the region and discuss innovative solutions. We found that this regional community is full of strong networks of passionate people whose knowledge of the local area should help them to work together.
People experiencing homelessness in the Adelaide Hills region are largely hidden, as the region is spread out into multiple townships. Our workshop participants also pointed out that many people do not classify the Adelaide Hills as a “regional” area because of the distance to the city. There is no emergency accommodation in the area, too few public housing properties and expensive private rentals, leaving people stranded.
Workshop participants wanted to explore how they could bring together home-owners and renters with spare rooms and people needing a place to stay in an environment that would assist both groups, how under-utilised housing and public spaces could be harnessed to provide accommodation and whether or not there was suitable land to build smaller homes – both for home ownership opportunities and for renting.
Our workshop report outlines the issues and key statistics in the Adelaide Hills region, our policy recommendations and a summary of the housing solutions developed by the workshop participants. Also, check out our video for highlights of the event!