With the assistance of WA Housing Minister, the Hon. Bill Marmion, CHL also officially opened its third office – home to its new WA headquarters – in Perth today.
Not-for-profit community housing organisation Community Housing Limited (CHL) has been entrusted with the provision of tenancy and property management to 273 properties which are the long term homes to a number of aboriginal households in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia.
CHL was awarded the contract by the Western Australian Government based on its strong track record of delivering housing services to aboriginal communities. These homes, alongside those it manages in Victoria and NSW bring the number of homes under management occupied by aboriginal people to around 550, representing nearly a quarter of the housing CHL manages.
CHL is looking at replicating in the East Kimberley the success it has experienced in Victoria and New South Wales by achieving the following outcomes:
“CHL is looking forward to mobilising its resources in the East Kimberley to develop strong working relationships with the local community. We have worked successfully with aboriginal communities in country Victoria and NSW for more than five years, so we have an understanding of the needs of people living in remote areas away from metropolitan Australia and are also aware of the dynamics of delivering housing to the different communities we serve,” says CHL’s Managing Director Steve Bevington.
Mr. Bevington says that CHL is an organisation that has long been committed to improving housing in aboriginal communities, even though the organisation does not receive any specific funding for this purpose.
He says the key to developing a successful aboriginal housing service has been based on (a) delivering on promises, (b) being committed to open and frequent communication with community leaders and members, and (c) remaining consistent in its role as a partner with specific expertise that is invited to provide housing development and management services.
“Like any relationship, it’s about mutual respect, sharing knowledge and earning trust. We have delivered some exciting housing projects with aboriginal communities that are managed responsibly to ensure they are sustainable. Understanding family and community networks and the changing political environment will be important for CHL in building contacts and organising initial meetings with the leaders of various communities. CHL will explore opportunities to talk with community members about what we offer,” he says.
CHL’s WA State Manager and the Project Manager for the East Kimberley region, Shane Hamilton, says for the project to be successful CHL will need to build its profile amongst aboriginal communities across the region and gain credibility.
The organisation is also aware of the vastly different challenges and priorities that various communities face, particularly in regional and remote areas. The first step he says will be to listen and review what has been delivered over the past years. CHL will also continue to develop employment opportunities for aboriginal people via its asset and property administration services.
CHL will work with 23 communities throughout the Kimberley region, ranging in size from a single home to 74 houses at Kalumburu, the largest community in the East Kimberley.
“CHL will be working in a vast service area of almost 120,000km² which is slightly smaller than the State of Victoria. In addition to Kalumburu, housing services will include Kununurra and Oombulgurri. Some communities, such as Oombulgurri, are only accessible by air or barge,” says Mr. Bevington.
“We thank the Western Australian government for their commitment to ensuring CHL can start making a difference to the quality of housing in these communities. This is an important starting point for a large and capable community housing organisation to establish itself in WA. CHL is intent on making a significant contribution to the community housing sector here,” he says.
CHL were also honoured to have Western Australian Housing Minister, the Honourable Bill Marmion, officially open CHL’s Perth office located in the CBD on Adelaide Terrace which will now be the headquarters for the organisation in the West. The office will be able to accommodate a team that can support 2000 community homes in WA alone.
CHL already has two offices up and running in WA – one in Geraldton and one in Kununurra. The Kununurra office is currently being serviced by a tenancy manager and an asset management team of three staff members.
Community Housing Limited (CHL) is a national and international provider of affordable housing. Its mission is ‘to provide affordable and sustainable housing for all’. CHL is a registered housing organisation in Victoria and an approved growth provider in NSW, Tasmania, WA and SA. Its international operations are located in Timor Leste, Chile and India.
CHL is a vertically integrated operation that manages the entire housing lifecycle. This includes securing funding, locating suitable land, project managing, designing and constructing, then managing the tenancy for the long term which includes collecting rents and maintaining the property.
For more information on CHL, contact:
Coordinator – Marketing and Communications
t 03 9856 0021
m 0430 555 241