ANDREW Barr, Shane Rattenbury and Yvette Berry have opened “Common Ground” in Gungahlin, a unique housing project intended to tackle homelessness in Canberra.
The Government has invested $13 million into the project, which provides 20 units for people experiencing homelessness, and a further 20 units offered as affordable rental accommodation.
“Common Ground would not have been possible without the support of the community, businesses and organisations in the area. This is a collaborative project, and I must particularly thank the board of Common Ground Canberra, Northside Community Service, Argyle, Ikea Canberra and the Snow Foundation for their support,” Andrew said.
“Common Ground shows us what can be achieved when government, business, the community sector and the wider community work together for such a great cause.
“The project was an item in the Labor-Greens Parliamentary Agreement and I thank Minister Shane Rattenbury for his support of this project.
Yvette said that the aim of Common Ground was to successfully end chronic homelessness through housing the most vulnerable people in our community.
“It’s not a crisis service or shelter to homeless people – it’s a permanent housing solution,” Yvette said.
“Common Ground is different from traditional homelessness support services because it locates safe and secure accommodation directly with vital supports and services that are critical to helping tenants get the support they need to help break the cycle of homelessness.
“It’s important to acknowledge the significant community support Common Ground has received from groups like the Canberra Quilters, the Uniting Church Gungahlin, the Majura Men’s Shed, the Orana Steiner School, the CWA and many other generous community donors.
“This is an important day for everyone that has supported Common Ground, but it isn’t the end and I look forward to continuing to work together to build an even stronger and more supportive community here at Common Ground into the future.”