Energy efficient homes to replace rundown estates

More vulnerable Victorians will be able to access social housing with the Victorian Government’s announcement that redevelopment is to begin of a rundown housing estate in West Brunswick. Community housing organisation Women’s Housing Limited will manage the completed redevelopment, which will increase social housing numbers by 45 per cent.

Women’s Housing CEO Judy Line says, ‘We have worked closely with the Department of Health and Human Services and developer AV Jennings to bring this project to life, and we are delighted to be part of this exciting housing development.

‘The old rundown walk-ups at Gronn Place will be replaced by new energy efficient homes that will not only be better to live in but be more affordable for our tenants.

‘We are looking forward to taking a leading long-term role in the overall management of the precinct, to ensure that this project further enriches the neighbourhood as well as delivering much needed long-term housing for vulnerable women,’ Judy says.

The 82 vacant units currently on the site will be demolished to make way for 111 new public housing properties, and Women’s Housing will purchase an additional eight homes from the developer, greatly increasing the number available to those eligible for social housing. The redevelopment will also include 79 private homes, which will help fund the project and create more diverse communities.

Public housing tenants who have been provided with alternative accommodation in the lead up to the redevelopment will be given the option to move back to the site once it is complete, with Women’s Housing to be responsible for the management of rental agreements and maintenance. Tenant’s rights will continue to be protected via the Residential Tenancies Act.

As a registered Victorian Housing Association, Women’s Housing Ltd has extensive experience in managing a diverse range of social housing across Melbourne and has an excellent reputation for property and place management.

Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA Vic) CEO Lesley Dredge says the redevelopment is welcome with Victoria holding the unenviable record of having the smallest proportion of social housing in Australia. Currently 50,145 households are on Victoria’s social housing waitlist.

The Gronn Place development is part of the Victorian Government’s $185 million Public Housing Renewal Program that plans to develop up to 2,500 public housing dwellings and increase the number of social housing properties by at least 10 per cent across metropolitan and regional sites.

Campaign to co-locate health and housing in Collingwood

Unison and Cohealth have joined forces to launch a campaign for funding to redevelop an aged site in Collingwood into shared housing and medical facilities.

The former boot factory at 365 Hoddle Street currently houses Cohealth community health services but Cohealth and Unison have put a joint proposal to the State Government to build a new health service with a mix of social and affordable housing, and privately owned apartments above.

Read more…

Tiny solution to huge problem

Launch Housing is urging governments at all levels to unlock underutilised land for housing to help reduce the increasing rate of homelessness.

To kick off Homelessness Week, the organisation has unveiled the first phase of its Harris Transportable Housing Project, in which 6 of 57 tiny homes have been built on VicRoads land in Melbourne’s inner west.

Launch Housing Chief Executive Officer Bevan Warner said the project demonstrates how unused government land can be repurposed to create safe, stable homes.

“Homelessness is increasing right across Australia. In Victoria alone, almost 25,000 people are without a home on any given night, and around 1,100 of them are sleeping rough,” Bevan said.

“Meanwhile, there’s around 195 hectares of government land sitting empty across Melbourne, which could host more than enough homes to end rough sleeping.

“If this land was unlocked, projects such as the Harris Transportable Housing Project could be scaled up to deliver housing solutions that the market wouldn’t otherwise provide.

“Tiny homes are part of the solution to homelessness. We want to work with people and organisations across all sectors to grow projects like this and rapidly build more homes for Victorians who urgently need them.”

The project is a partnership between Launch Housing and philanthropists Geoff and Brad Harris, of Harris Capital, with funding from the Victorian Property Fund.

It uses nine parcels of vacant VicRoads land in Footscray and Maidstone to create 57 tiny homes for people with a chronic experience of homelessness.

Tenant story: Deborah – watch her story here.

Deborah, along with her pet dog Zeus, says having a safe, stable home has drastically changed her life.

“I’ve been homeless since I was 13. I was always searching for somewhere that’s homey, where I can have a garden [and] a dog, where it’s safe,” Deborah said.

“If it wasn’t for the workers from Launch Housing who have come into my life, I wouldn’t be sitting here. I feel like someone took me from basically hell, and put me on this cloud of puffy niceness.

“I get to stay here for as long as I need to. It’s a really big gift [to have this home] and because it’s a gift, I want to take care of it.

“For the first time in a long time I feel like I’m in a stable environment… I can look at becoming a peer support worker, or working in women’s shelters. That’s my goal in life, to help people. This place gives me hope.”

Philanthropists Geoff and Brad Harris, of Harris Capital, contributed $4 million towards the $9 million project:

“We embarked on this project with Launch Housing after seeing a rise in people sleeping on the streets in Melbourne’s CBD. These homes are a great, long-term option to break that cycle for people who have been bounced around between short-term housing and homelessness. Having a place they can live for as long as they like means they can really start to rebuild their lives,” Brad said.

“As a wealthy country, the three basics we as Australians should be providing people are a basic education, basic healthcare and basic housing. We as a society need to come up with innovative ideas like this to help solve the growing issue of homelessness and stop people falling through the cracks,” Geoff said.

Women’s trust grants open

The Victorian Women’s Trust aims to help women and girls thrive through targeted grant making. The trust currently has 11 grant categories open to applications, with several relevant to the housing sector.

Click here for details.

Social and affordable housing project funding opens

Homes for Homes has opened a funding round for social and affordable housing projects, with up to $140,000 available in Victoria.

Homes for Homes CEO Steven Persson says the organisation will take a flexible approach to the projects it supports.

Housing providers know who is experiencing homelessness and housing stress in their area of operation, and what their needs are, Mr Persson ‘says.

We are keen to fund high-impact projects and are open to all proposals from community housing providers and property developers. Any organisation that can create social and affordable housing is encouraged to apply.

This funding round marks the second time Homes for Homes has released funds in Victoria and the ACT.

Last year, Homes for Homes awarded $500,000 to five organisations, supporting projects ranging from long-term accommodation for matched pairs of older women stuck in the unaffordable private rental market to a six-star energy rated home for a young family in housing stress.

‘Australia is facing a housing crisis, with almost 200,000 households on the waitlist for social housing. Thankfully there is a huge appetite to solve this problem,’Mr Persson says.

With overwhelming support from developers, community, business and government, Homes for Homes is on track to generate over $1 billion over the next 30 years. This is a long-term generational solution that works.

Applications close on 5 July 2019.

Applications will be assessed by an expert, industry-based advisory group.

Recipients are expected to be announced later in the year.

See Homes for Homes for details.

About Homes for Homes

 Homes for Homes, established by The Big Issue, tackles Australia’s chronic shortage of 200,000 social and affordable homes by raising money through donations from property sales.

Homeowners register with Homes for Homes, agreeing to donate 0.1 per cent of their property’s sale price to the initiative at the time of sale (for example, a $500,000 sale results in a $500 donation).

Once a house is registered with Homes for Homes, the legal mechanism stays on the property title, prompting a donation each time the property is sold in the future.

Under the Homes for Homes model, money raised in each state or territory is used to support housing projects in that state or territory.

HousingFirst takes out development gong

HousingFirst is proud to announce that we have won the Leading Housing Development Project at the Australasian Housing Institute’s (AHI) Awards for Victoria.

The AHI Awards honour inspirational staff and successful programs that make a difference in their community. This year, a record number of nominations were received, outlining successful projects and inspiring stories from community housing providers and housing authorities.

HousingFirst’s Ashwood Chadstone Gateway Project (ACGP) was honoured for its successful people and place management approach. Following completion of the ACGP, 5-years worth of annual surveys (2013-2017) were conducted with tenants and the local community. These surveys provide evidence-based approach about the changing levels of social connection and the outcomes of local community building initiatives.

Key findings show levels of social connection between tenants increased over the 5 years, as did levels of social connection between our tenants and residents in nearby streets.

We are thrilled by the award, and as the Victorian winner, we are now entered into the Australasian Awards. Winners to be announced at the National Housing Conference in August, in Darwin.

  • article courtesy of HousingFirst

Easter surprise

Whilst enjoying an Easter break in Castlemaine, my teen pointed out some really cute housing on one of the main streets. When we walked over for a closer look, we discovered the gorgeous homes belong to Wintringham.

The Alexander Miller Memorial Homes development, completed in January 2012, includes 10, one-bedroom homes with wheelchair accessibility and were purpose-built to allow ‘ageing in place’

Great work Wintringham!

A captivating design that fits in well with the surrroundings, is well landscaped, and is very well located for older, disadvantaged people in Castlemaine.

 

 

Fund houses homeless

Minister for Planning, Housing and Multicultural Affairs, Richard Wynne presented Women’s Property Initiatives with the keys to the newly-built home in Ashwood this week.

The stunning home has been developed through the work of the Victorian Homeless Fund — a group of volunteers supported by the Housing Industry Association (HIA) who strive year-round to assist the homeless by building and renovating houses.

The fund’s mission is to ‘build a house and give away a home’.

Generously built by SJD Homes and an extensive group of donors, suppliers and trades, the house has been named in honour of former Victorian Homeless Fund committee member, Brian O’Donnell.

The house has been donated to WPI to provide a home for a home for a female led family in need.

At the opening, Victorian Homeless Fund Chair Colleen May talked about the power of people working together to make a difference.

CEO of Women’s Property Initiatives, Jeanette Large said, ‘This beautiful home will change the future for single mum, Maria, and her three boys aged 15, 13 and 6 when they move in this week.

‘They have been through some very rough times and are desperate for stability and security. We are so grateful to the Victorian Homeless Fund that we can now provide them with this long-term home.’

Maria said that after years of waiting for a stable and appropriate home, this is like a dream come true. ‘We never thought that we would ever get to live in a house like this.’

 

HousingFirst partnering with Vic Gov

Haleh Homaei,Chief Executive Officer of HousingFirst, is delighted to be the first Victorian community housing provider selected to partner with the Victorian Government as part of an innovative public housing regeneration project.

“With over thirty years’ experience providing housing for low-income and vulnerable people across Melbourne, HousingFirst will provide high-quality tenancy and property management services across the three ageing public housing sites undergoing major redevelopment in Preston, Northcote and North Melbourne.

HousingFirst’s investment in the project will see up to an additional 64 community housing properties built on the Preston site, for people on the Victorian Housing Register.

The State Government has guaranteed all existing public housing residents can return to live at their original estates in Director of Housing-owned homes, if they wish.  HousingFirst is fully committed to this outcome.

Once the redevelopment is completed, HousingFirst will deliver resident-focused, property and tenancy management services for all the social housing properties across the sites, including Director of Housing-owned properties.

All dwellings will be built, by Melbourne-based property development company MAB Corporation, to the highest standards of accessibility and with 7-star energy ratings, ensuring they are cost-efficient to heat and cool.

Plans also include high-quality urban design and improvement of open spaces. The revitalised precincts will include community rooms, recreation spaces and artist studios.

HousingFirst is pleased to be working again with MAB Corporation, with whom it has co-developed two other social and affordable housing projects, in Moorabbin and Box Hill.

With all such projects, careful planning and design and high-quality construction, are  followed with high-quality property and tenancy management services and a rich community-development programme, leading to significant measurable increases in resident satisfaction and community cohesion – not only among social housing tenants, but across all residents and neighbours of the developments.

HousingFirst is very pleased to be working with the Victorian Government and bringing our expertise and experience to this redevelopment project; to demonstrate how good social housing can be when it is well-planned, well-built and well-managed.”

Dear Landlord…

Justice Connect Homeless Law has recently developed the prototype of its first-funded digital innovation tool Dear Landlord: Building tools and knowledge to prevent homelessness for Victorian women and children.

Dear Landlord involves knowledge and tools – for low income women, support workers, real estate agents and landlords – geared towards raising awareness and fostering practice-based change that prioritises eviction prevention.

The initial version of Dear Landlord has been favourably reviewed internationally and nationally as a promising and practical way to improve access to justice. Over the next two years, Dear Landlord will allow Justice Connect to scale up its impact and reach by using its eviction prevention expertise to create digital resources and education materials.

Justice Connect is progressing Dear Landlord through user-centred design testing and exploring ideas about the best ways for people to access legal help if they are in rental arrears. It will be running more user-testing with people who have lived experience of housing insecurity and homelessness, housing workers, real estate agents and landlords, and later this year, it will be rolling-out a targeted cross-sector and help-seeker education program.