Newtown boarding house fire – Residents Hardship Fund established

Our Chair Liz Yeo is also the CEO of the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, a community organisation that provides direct support to residents in boarding houses. Liz was yesterday interviewed on ABC Sydney radio – providing excellent insight into the lives of these residents. While some boarding houses are well-run, many are not. And as a so-called form of ‘affordable housing’, many are not. In an immediate sense, there are now three residents who have died, others injured & all no doubt traumatised by a fire at a boarding house in Newtown earlier this week.

Liz reminded people that these men are well-known members of the local community. Good on the Newtown community for reaching out to help a bunch of blokes who have now lost their home – in the most awful of circumstances. As Dep Commissioner of Police said yesterday, “these are people who’ve often been dealt a difficult hand in life… this was their home”.

Many thanks to the staff of NNC for their tireless work & compassion. And our deepest condolences to the families & friends of the men who perished in the fire.

In response to the overwhelming generosity and desire of people to help, Newtown Neighbourhood Centre has launched an appeal to raise funds to directly benefit the residents they are working with.
If you are in a position to make a financial donation, please donate here. The funds raised will be used to directly support the displaced boarding house residents in re-establishing their lives. 

Shelter has taken a keen interest in boarding house reforms over the last couple of years. Here are some papers on these issues that might be of interest to our readers:

  1. May 2021 submission to the NSW Government about a number of changes including those proposed for Boarding Houses
  2. April 2021 general comments on proposed boarding house change
  3. 2019 UNSW paper prepared for Shelter NSW providing excellent background on the history and regulation