Our role is to provide an informed voice on policy issues that impact on housing justice. This voice is informed by policy research, close collaboration, networking and consultation with community based organisations and other relevant stakeholders working on housing and related issues. Using this information we promote housing justice and better housing outcomes for people on low incomes in all housing types – including social, private rental and home ownership. As ACT Shelter addresses housing as a human right and works across the continuum of housing matters – our advocacy appropriately and necessarily includes working across the broad area of homelessness: its causes and impacts, and the homeless support system. This means that our work includes advocating for those who are homeless or who are at risk of homelessness.
ACT Shelter is a member based organisation whose members include organisations and individuals who have an interest in ensuring the availability of affordable, secure and appropriate housing in Canberra. Some of these members are involved in the provision of housing and / or homelessness support services.
We hold regular forums and special meetings on housing issues of concern to people in the ACT and we encourage member and community participation in identifying important issues. Information is disseminated through an e-newsletter, website and forums and networks of people with common interests in housing issues. We have a strong focus on advocating for people experiencing particular disadvantage in the housing market.
ACT Shelter has provided major input into: the ACT Homelessness Strategy - Breaking the Cycle (2004); the Affordable Housing Action Plan (2007); the ACT Social Plan; the ACT Social Compact between the Community Sector and Government; the ACT Housing Advisory Committee; the ACT Homelessness Advisory Committee; and the Anti-Poverty Task Force.
We are part of a national network of Shelter organisations in each state and territory along with National Shelter, which is dedicated to national housing advocacy. This is significant because national reforms through the National Affordable Housing Agreement and the Homelessness National Partnership are driving much of the recent change in Housing ACT. Our involvement in a national network also means our members are able to engage in national debates and action and receive current information on housing matters.