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PPHA changes its name

Leading Melbourne community housing provider, Port Phillip Housing Association (PPHA), has changed its name to HousingFirst, reflecting its operational growth and expansion as it continues to provide safe and affordable housing to hundreds of vulnerable people across Melbourne.

First established in 1986 as the St Kilda Housing Association, the agency was renamed PPHA in 2001 after local government amalgamations created the City of Port Phillip. PPHA was not directly associated with the City of Port Phillip, but at that time its housing and accommodation services had expanded beyond St Kilda and into nearby suburbs.

Chief Executive Officer Haleh Homaei said the decision to rename the organisation is a well-considered and strategic one, following lengthy consultation with staff, directors and tenants.
‘We are so proud of our history of community service in St Kilda and the Port Phillip region of Melbourne. But in reality we are delivering desperately-needed housing solutions, across seven different local government areas in Melbourne.’

“It was time our growth and our philosophy was more accurately reflected in our name,’ Ms Homaei said.

‘We know the fundamental base for creating a home, a neighbourhood, a community and a stable healthy society is that every one of us should have an affordable and safe place to live.
Hence our new name – HousingFirst.”

HousingFirst currently owns or manages 1194 houses and apartments across Melbourne, providing homes for 1600 people who would otherwise struggle to find accommodation in the increasingly competitive public and social housing and private rental sectors.

‘Our continued growth is not only by choice, but to meet increasing demand,’ Ms Homaei said.

‘The housing affordability crisis that’s swept across our country has impacted most on those people on low incomes, the aged and those living with illness or a disability. We need to do more, to help more people.’

From May 14th 2018, the organisation will also relocate its head office from Fitzroy Street St Kilda to just up the road at Suite 301, 492 St Kilda Rd (near Commercial Rd), a location readily accessible by public transport.

‘Most importantly, as far as our residents are concerned – apart from a new name and a head office move – nothing else will change for them.’

The name change does not affect the Port Phillip Housing Trust (PPHT) which will remain as PPHT.

‘We are the same organisation, with all the same people providing the same warm, compassionate, high quality service for our residents. In fact, hopefully even better and more efficient!’

PPHA delivers 73 new homes for low income residents in Box Hill

Port Phillip Housing Association (PPHA) will team up with the Whitehorse City Council and property developer MAB Corporation (MAB) to deliver 73 brand new architect-designed, affordable homes for low income residents, particularly older people and those living with a disability.

The $25 million affordable housing project in Bruce Street, Box Hill will further expand PPHA’s social housing capacity in the inner-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, at a time when rental properties for low income residents, are critically low.

Whitehorse City Council is one of the first local authorities in Melbourne’s east to take the lead in increasing affordable housing.

PPHA Chairman Frank O’Connor said: ‘This project proves just what can be achieved when private enterprise, local government, great design and innovative community housing come together with a sincere, common purpose.

‘A critical solution to the housing affordability crisis being felt right across our communities, is to fundamentally increase the number of affordable, quality homes available to rent.

‘There are simply not enough affordable homes to fill the need, where that need is located,’ Mr. O’Connor said.

‘Building contemporary, beautiful, good quality homes where people can live safely, with dignity and at an affordable price brings relief not just to them, but to the whole community.’

Whitehorse Mayor, Cr Andrew Davenport said this new development will provide 73 well designed apartments for local residents who will pay rent only within their means.

‘In Whitehorse, only 1.6 per cent of all rental vacancies in 2016 were classified as affordable,’ Cr Davenport said.

‘With Port Phillip Housing Association and MAB Corporation involved in the project, Box Hill locals can be assured that the development will be attractive and will integrate beautifully into the character and amenity of the local area.’

This will be the second affordable housing collaboration between PPHA, HAYBALL architects and MAB Corporation, a leading, diversified Melbourne-based development group. The same team was behind the Moorabbin Affordable Housing development completed in 2011 with a project value of $23 million. Located in South Road Moorabbin, the project delivered seven storeys and 75 apartments at completion.

The Bruce Street Box Hill project will comprise;

  • 73 architect-designed affordable housing apartments,
  • built to the Victorian Government’s Better Apartment Design standards,
  • a mix of studio, 1 and 2-bedroom and dual key dwellings,
  • will include apartments specially designed for those living with a disability, with
  • 40 apartments suitable for older residents.

The site will also include a social enterprise café as well as commercial and retail opportunities, to create a supportive vibrant neighbourhood for residents.

PPHA Chief Executive Haleh Homaei said building resilient and sustainable neighbourhoods to support good quality housing is the key to long term, stable, affordable housing tenancies and ensuring return on investment.

This expertise, plus our 30+ years’ experience in tenancy management are the unique elements that we, as a robust, regulated community housing agency, bring to this table and to all our collaborative partnerships.

‘We are thrilled to be working on our next exciting project with Whitehorse City Council, MAB and Hayball. This project will deliver $25 million high quality – affordable housing to Box Hill.’

  • article contributed by PPHA