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Byron Shire
March 3, 2024

Reality Check Campaign seeks to assist low cost housing

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Local Liz Friend has decided that it is time to take action and help people who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.

A sense of frustration and helplessness is being felt by many in the community as they or their friends become homeless as the housing and rental prices continue to increase.

But local Liz Friend has decided that it is time to take action and help people who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.

She has started the Reality Check Campaign that is asking people who are relatively secure in their lives to help those who aren’t.

Liz told The Echo, ‘The heart and soul of Byron Shire is getting lost, amidst a growing housing crisis. Property prices have jumped exponentially and the less better off have been forced out of their homes, out of town, sleeping in their cars, couch-surfing or living on the streets, simply because they cannot afford the unreasonable increases in rent. Alternatively, their houses are being sold by landlords taking advantage of the property boom, or being let for short-term holiday letting, taking them out of the residential rental market’.

‘I am encouraging people to donate funds to assist in this emergency, literally to provide food and shelter to those who have, through no fault of their own, been displaced by this tragic scenario’.

Supporting people

Donating to the Reality Check campaign will help support the Housing Solutions Fund that is helping grow low cost housing in the region and the Impact Now fund that focuses on helping community organisations that are on the ground supporting people in crisis. Both these funds are being run via the Northern Rivers Community Foundation, who are working on a number of housing solutions that bring together local and state government, housing providers, philanthropists and social impact investors, builders at cost, developers and pro bono professionals.

Liz says, ‘We all need to come together so that we do not divide into two – the haves and the have nots – we need each other. We all need to take responsibility here. At the moment, people are being forgotten. There are increasing and obvious mental health issues emerging, along with tragic stories of people feeling secure one minute, lost and feeling hopeless the next’.

Donations to the Reality Check campaign are tax deductible, and it is a very tangible way to help people in need, says Liz.

‘Help to manage this crisis, and foster the sense of community that we need to take Byron Shire forward with kindness, compassion and integrity. It’s time,’ says Liz.

For more information, contact Liz Friend at [email protected] or donate at: https://nrcf.org.au/nrcf-housing-fund.

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Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

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  1. Wake up Byron.
    The Council has had the property to support those caught out by the Property boom and air B+Bs and holiday lets by using the Old Hospital site which is Perfectly planned for occupancy and admin.
    But let a Real estate agent head the committee to rectify the site which has led to vacancy and it being used as a filming site. I cant but help wonder what his motives were!
    They have also had the fletcher St Drop in Centre vacant since they evicted the paying tenants almost a year ago to renovate it, and it has sat vacant and still does caught up in red tape and excuses as to who and how to run it.
    I am so over the political parties running our Council and following party lines and red tape to get things done in our town.

    • of course, lacking a social conscience aka kindness & a sense of justice, one might ignore the fact that people have lived, paid rent & established friendly & business connections in their residential area, all of which would be lost when leaving. but do you really want to stoop that low?

    • That is so easy to say,but where?up and down it’s all the same . Do you drag your family or yourself to the middle of nowhere and leave all of your community behind?
      What if you have lived here for 20 years or are old ? Life is about connections. How many people are depressed?
      If it is only about money and who can pay the most what does this say about this so-called paradise? It is all about money and greed and stuff those who can’t afford the outrageous rents . Then again if you run a business you soon won’t be able to find workers as none of them are able to live here. So it had a huge effect on the whole area.


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