Kerry Pearse, chair of the Housing Matters Action Group in Bellingen.
Kerry Pearse, chair of the Housing Matters Action Group in Bellingen.

‘Now it really is a crisis’: Can Bello film spark change?

When the Housing Matters Action Group formed, chairperson Kerry Pearse said they were reluctant to label the situation in Bellingen a crisis.

Three years on and that has well and truly changed, with the group releasing a fascinating film, Home Matters, which explores the region's housing woes by talking to both people affected and those who are working hard towards finding solutions.

"Housing was escalating issue (three years ago) and has now become a crisis post-covid," Ms Pearse said.

"Now it really is a housing crisis and the point of the film screening is to create a context for a community conversation (about housing), and to provide a resource to other communities to mobilise," Ms Pearse said.

Ms Pearse said the film came at a time when conversations around housing were starting to shift, with the community coming to realise the issues affected more than just those in social housing.

"The housing discussion until now has been about social housing and really low-income earners and most people until the last decade have been able to aspire to and reach home ownership.

"But that is no longer possible for people in the middle income range."

"We definitely think there needs to be interventions across all levels of government and there are some things individuals and communities can do to create more choice and more options - particularly for people on moderate incomes."

The film was initially set to be premiered in December before the floods forced the group to opt for a 'soft launch' online, with a rescheduled screening at Bellingen Memorial Hall on Wednesday January 13 at 5.30pm.

The film will be followed by a community discussion with members of the Housing Matters Action Group, Bellingen Mayor Dominic King and others.

Bookings essential, visit the Housing Matters Facebook page for more details.



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