Living Without Homes: can we fix the region’s housing crisis?

Published 7 May 2019
Thursday Night Live homelessness housing crisis

Living in the lucky country is not so lucky for some. Many Aussies face increasing homelessness, in part caused by rising rents and falling investment in social housing by state and federal governments, yet the major parties are yet to address the issue ahead of the federal election.

This month’s Thursday Night Live! will tackle the issue when three of the Northern Rivers’ housing and homelessness experts come together to discuss ‘Living Without Homes – can we fix the region’s housing crisis?’

Tony Davies, CEO of Social Futures, John McKenna, CEO of North Coast Community Housing and researcher Dr Sandy Darab of Southern Cross University, whose research focus is older women and homelessness, will form the panel. Facilitating the discussion is Associate Professor Adele Wessell of Southern Cross University.

“Australia is perhaps the least densely populated major country in the world yet a number of urban and coastal regional areas are experiencing a housing crisis where many people are now living without homes,” said Dr Wessell.

In 2016 on Census night, 8200 people were estimated to be ‘sleeping rough’ in improvised dwellings, tents or sleeping out – an increase from 3.2 persons per 10,000 people in 2011 to 3.5 persons per 10,000 people in 2016 (Australian Bureau of Statistics).

Younger and older Australians have also emerged as groups experiencing increasing homelessness in Australia.

What does this mean for our region? The Northern Rivers faces significant challenges in terms of housing affordability and homelessness. Recent figures suggest that Tweed Heads was the eighth least affordable housing city in the world; that Byron Shire had the least affordable private rents of anywhere in NSW; and the shires of Ballina, Clarence Valley and Tweed are also in the top nine least affordable areas in the state (North Coast Community Housing Annual Report 2017-2018).

Facebook event: Living without homes - can we fix the regions housing crisis?

At Lismore Regional Gallery on Thursday May 9, 6pm-7.30pm

Lismore Regional Gallery is an inclusive and wheel chair accessible venue. If you would like to attend this event and need an Auslan interpreter please email:

Thursday Night Live!

Presented by the Lismore Regional Gallery and Southern Cross University, Thursday Night Live! is a monthly talks program putting critical, thought-provoking topics in the spotlight. Held on the second Thursday of each month.

Cafe opens at 5.30pm and the panel discussion begins at 6pm.


Missed the last TNL? Listen to the Thursday Night Live! podcast:


Media contact: Sharlene King 0429 661 349 or