7,000 origami houses in campaign for a home for everyone: Launch by Benjamin Law

During lockdown, community agencies, volunteers, and students have been busy making over 7,000 origami houses to raise awareness of homelessness and the need for more social housing. This is part of a campaign by Community Information and Support Victoria: ‘A Home for Everyone’.
Thousands of colourful and creative origami houses have been made into a fun installation, to be launched by author and journalist, Benjamin Law, today. After this week it will go on a travelling show, starting at the Mornington Village Shopping Centre, then The Foyer in Docklands.
Kate Wheller, Executive Officer, said: ‘Our member agencies are being overwhelmed by people who are homeless or about to lose their home. There is just not enough affordable housing for everyone. Unfortunately, this is an ongoing crisis, beyond short term band aid solutions. We need to have a real, commitment to fix this problem once and for all’.
CISVic is asking the Victorian Government to commit to a steady pipeline of new public and social housing - 7,000 new homes per year for the next 10 years. ‘We want the government to embed this commitment in its Ten- Year Strategy for Social and Affordable Housing’, said Kate Wheller. ‘This is why we aimed for 7,000 origami houses.’
During COVID lockdowns, CISVic member agencies were open and accessible, and helped a lot of people experiencing homelessness during this time. As well as people rough sleeping, many were new to support services. After losing their jobs they could no longer pay their rent or keep up with mortgage payments. For people on Centrelink there are very few affordable rental properties at all.
CISVic member agencies wanted to do something about this and came up with the idea of making thousands of origami houses. Community involvement has been enthusiastic.
According to Kristina Psathas from Knox Infolink, making the houses has been a fun activity for everyone during the lockdowns. ‘They start to make the houses, then they ask questions, and have conversations about what having a home means. It has raised awareness, engagement, it’s been amazing. Something so simple has led to huge impacts. And the whole health and wellbeing benefits has really made a positive impact.’
‘People have felt they can still achieve something and help the wider community’, she said.
Many people wrote personal messages on their houses. Some noted what a home means to them, with words like safety, love and care. Children wrote some thoughtful messages:
‘Help someone with hope.’
‘Help the people who need it the most.’
‘If a little bit of light is hope, then keep your windows open to let rays of sunshine come through, because if a little bit of light is hope, then maybe it could be a new beginning.’
For more information or for media comment please contact Kate Wheller, Executive Officer, Community Information & Support Victoria (CISVic) at kate@cisvic.org.au, or phone 9672 2000 / 0407 670 125. Click here to access the media release
The origami house installation is currently accessible for photograph and filming opportunities in Scoresby, Victoria.