The Operations team at Sirovilla were lucky enough to attend the G21 Geelong Regional Alliance Forum on Friday 1st April. G21 is a formal alliance of government, business and community organisations that are working together to help improve the lives of people within the Geelong region including the five municipalities Colac Otway, Golden Plains, Greater Geelong, Queenscliff, and Surf Coast.
Sirovilla is proud to partner with G21 on their social housing project. This project now includes affordable and key worker housing in response to growing pressures, especially in our coastal areas. Philanthropic partners, Anthony Costa Foundation, Percy Baxter Foundation and Geelong Community Foundation are funding this work into 2022.
At the Forum we listened to experts talk about the future of the Geelong Region and what this looks like for our communities. One of the key messages for me was acknowledging that the region is experiencing growth but encouraging us to think about whether we are growing well. It was suggested that the answer may not be yes if we are leaving people behind. Given the lack of affordable housing options for older people in our local communities I’d have to say that we are in fact leaving people behind.
Sirovilla recently partnered with Bellarine Community Health to manage 16 units in Point Lonsdale. We have received many applications from older people in the Bellarine area that are experiencing severe housing stress. Most applicants are on month to month leases with little or no security, are in unaffordable housing paying up to 90% of their income in rent and are very worried about the possibility of being forced out of the region.
I appreciate the government has a role to play, that developers could contribute to the solution in various ways but I also believe we have a social responsibility. I am proud to work for an organisation that began in the 1970’s because a group of people wanted to help local people in their local communities. They worked hard and smart to build this organisation, not for any personal gain but for the benefit of the community.
We all know there is a ‘problem’ (lack of affordable housing) and we are very proud to be part of the ‘solution’.