Tuesday, 28 Mar 2023

Its Up to Us: squeezed by the housing crisis, a NSW rural community finds its own solution

Its Up to Us: squeezed by the housing crisis, a NSW rural community finds its own solution


Its Up to Us: squeezed by the housing crisis, a NSW rural community finds its own solution

About two years ago, Michael Brosnan decided he could no longer wait for the government to act on the housing crisis.

As more and more people were squeezed into homelessness in his community on the far south coast of New South Wales, he and other locals decided to start a fundraiser.

Called "It's Up to Us", after raising almost $350,000, he says they now have six - soon to be nine - transportable temporary units housing people across the region.

"We called it that because that's exactly the case; it is 'up to us'," says Brosnan.

"We're trying to help fill a need that the government hasn't."

The area falls within the Bega electorate, which was won by Labor on a 5.1% margin during a 2022 byelection after 34 years in Liberal hands. It spans a number of tourism hotspots just north of Batemans Bay and south to Eden, and, as local residents ready to cast their vote in the NSW election, the housing crisis weighs heavily on their minds.

"What we're doing can only take us so far," says Brosnan, who, as part of a community group called the Social Justice Advocates of the Sapphire Coast, has also sourced about 100 caravans to house people caught up in the housing crisis and the black summer bushfires.

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