Editorial: Housing

By Right Now
Thatched Cottages, Vincent Van Gogh

Our December 2011 content focuses one of the least appreciated but most fundamental aspects of well-being: housing. Henrietta Zeffert sets the scene by illuminating the meaning of a right to housing in the legal sense and the integral place of the home in lived experience, in The Home in Human Rights.

Ellena Savage continues the discussion by considering the idea of “homelessness as a violation of human rights,” in the course of reviewing the recently released text Homelessness and the Law. Two more articles take the legal discussion into practice. Lucy Adams from the Homeless Persons Legal Clinic considers the role of Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights in preventing homelessness in Charting the Right Course.  And, in Patrick’s Case, Morgan Macdonald explains a recent Victorian Supreme Court decision which suggests that the right to manage one’s own house will only be given to an administrator in extreme circumstances of incapacity, and not for the mere convenience of others.

More broadly, James Farrell explains how the government can progressively fulfill the right to adequate housing at a federal level in Australia Needs a Rights-Based Federal Homelessness Act.

In Matching Children with Compassion, Marina Lou reflects on the surprisingly high number of homeless children in Australia, and the efforts of Youth Off the Streets to empower young people to rectify the situation. At the other end of the age spectrum, Right Now editor John Alizzi aims to raise awareness of problems and protections related to older people vulnerable to financial abuse in Elder Abuse and Housing.

Loren Days takes a sobering look at the relationship between Family Violence and Homelessness in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities, and the need for preventative support services.

Finally, Melbourne-based photographer R-Coo Tran’s exclusive housing-themed series captures the intimacy of the home.

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