As understanding of community housing grows, life is beginning to look better for households on low to moderate incomes
After a long period of uncertainty in her life, local Devonport resident Natalie Lawler says the community home she has moved into is beyond her expectations. While initially being unsure about what community housing actually was when it was first suggested to her, Natalie is now an unbridled advocate for the new rental housing offer from Community Housing Limited (CHL).
Natalie moved into a recently completed CHL property in Devonport with her two year old son: a brand new two-bedroom unit for $172 per week which is capped as a fixed percentage against her income.
For the previous 19 months, she had been living in an Anglicare unit designated as a transitional housing option until she could find a permanent housing arrangement. She had previously been looking at private rental, and despite having worked at Coles fulltime for the last 14 years, never seemed to get a look in.
“I think as a single mum many landlords had an issue with having a young child. I was also trying to find a property that would fit within my budget for rent because I wanted to avoid falling into debt. The Anglicare unit was our best option at the time,” she says.
Natalie says CHL has kept her close to family and friends.
“When CHL told me they were developing a property in my neighbourhood, it couldn’t have been more perfect. As I’m still working almost fulltime, I can drop my son at day-care which is two minutes away and see my family and friends regularly,” she says.
“The greatest relief though is knowing I have a long term secure housing option that my son can grow up in.”
Community housing is an exciting new housing option in Tasmania for people on low to moderate incomes. Still relatively small in number, the homes are owned by a not-for-profit housing organisation that manage and maintain the property for the long term. While the Federal and State Governments contribute funding, community housing is separate from public housing and should be thought of as an alternative to private rental.
“We’re still educating the public on what community housing is,” says CHL’s Managing Director, Steve Bevington. “Community housing looks like any other house in the street, but it offers tenants long term security of tenure at a rental rate that is usually around 75% of the market rate. It is called ‘community housing’ because it is a long term housing option for low to moderate income families who want to remain in their local community – when one tenant leaves, another individual or family from the area can move in.”
CHL is currently one of two providers of community housing in Tasmania, and to date has completed the construction of 50 properties dotted along the north coast over the last 12 months, which includes Launceston, Burnie, Latrobe, and Ulverson.
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 most recently 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:
Manager – Executive Services
t 03 9856 0050
m 0430 555 241