This week I wanted to share with you something pretty exciting that's been happening in our newsrooms across our Australian Community Media network.
As you know, here at The Armidale Express we have covered the issues of homelessness and the lack of safe and affordable housing.
ACM has journalists working right across the country. Many of them are young reporters who have relocated to our towns to gain that all important "foot in the door".
Our newest reporter in the Macleay Valley, Emily Walker at Kempsey, relocated from Melbourne and found the search for share accommodation harder than expected.
One of Emily's first stories was about the rental property shortage in Kempsey and how it had forced a couple and their newborn baby to live in an over-priced caravan.
Young journalists like Emily get a start in their dream job, and we get their energy, talent and "can-do attitude" in return. We feel lucky to have them. But when it comes to covering the housing crisis, we as editors began to realise that our young reporters were actually living it.
Another ACM journalist, Grace Crivellaro, has shared her lived experience of struggling to put a roof over her head in a red-hot Shoalhaven/Illawarra rental market. In fact, she has been asked by landlords to vacate four times in the last two years.
"I've spoken to essential workers, nurses who are living in the backs of their cars, who cannot find an affordable rental," she said.
"The reality that Australians are facing is not okay. Housing should be a basic human right and we should all be screaming from the rafters about it."
Grace has joined a group of her peers from across ACM who have come together to tell the story of the housing crisis through the lens of their own experiences.
The result is a compelling package of stories.
We invite you to dip into Young and Regional: Find me a Home to explore these stories - stories told in a unique way by young and passionate voices. They are voices we simply don't listen to enough.
As always, we would love to hear your feedback.
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