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CHL FIRST TO BUILD GROWTH INITIATIVE PROPERTIES

COMMUNITY HOUSING LTD FIRST TO BUILD GROWTH INITIATIVE PROPERTIES

Community Housing Limited (CHL) has housed tenants in the first properties built under the Asset Transfer growth initiative.

CHL, a global community housing organisation and a growth provider, recently completed eight four-bedroom houses after committing $2.4million towards the development of 16 properties in Geraldton. Since late 2010, the Department’s Asset Transfer Program has assigned ownership of 1362 properties to community housing growth providers, of which CHL has received 39.

Community housing organisations (CHOs) consenting to a growth strategy agreement have committed to use their equity in the transferred assets to leverage funding to build more properties, thereby increasing the number of affordable homes available to house joint waiting list applicants.

The eight homes, built by CHL, are the first of the contracted 448 dwellings expected to be delivered by community housing organisations under the growth program over the next three years.

Delighted at the delivery of new homes, Steve Bevington, Managing director for CHL says, “The public housing asset transfer initiative simply paves the way for significant social housing reform to take place. In its application CHL has now demonstrated that it could grow an additional 16 properties following the asset transfer of 39 properties.”

“The transfer of public housing stock in greater magnitudes would mean that we could not only stimulate local business, but we could tackle public housing waiting lists, provide housing for essential service workers like social workers and healthcare workers who are currently suffering stress in private rental, and we could provide sustainable pathways out of homelessness,” says Steve.

State Manager for CHL, Shane Hamilton, said that CHL was pleased to be able to work collaboratively with the Department to realise housing growth so quickly.

“Being a not-for-profit organisation, CHL works closely with a number of philanthropic institutions to secure funding to develop affordable housing,” Shane said.

“The relationship we have with these philanthropic organisations means that while CHL commits the initial funds to build or buy the properties, we are then able to recoup the costs from them to re-pay our lending institution.

“CHL uses the equity in the property it has bought to leverage further funding through our financiers and continue to provide more affordable housing opportunities.”

CHL purchased land at the Alexander Park Estate in Geraldton, before contracting the construction to local firm WA Country Builders. The four-bedroom brick and tile dwellings have a six-star energy rating. In all eight homes the tenants housed were priority listed applicants from the joint waiting list, with two of the properties designed and built specifically for Disability Services Commission clients identified from the priority waiting list.

“While CHOs in Western Australia have the option of selecting only 70 per cent of their tenants from the joint waiting list, the CHL organisational vision is to house those people with the greatest need,” Shane said.

“CHL has established an affiliation with a number of Geraldton-based support organisations (Chrysalis, Stay, Sun City Churches, Geraldton Resource Centre and Mid West Community Living), giving us an opportunity to provide mutual benefits.

“These agencies have clients who need support to maintain their tenancies, but no properties in which to house these clients, so CHL will provide the tenancy and housing management services and the occupants will have their tenancies supported by the agencies,” he said.

“CHL is working cooperatively with the Department to meet their growth targets and it is pleasing to see them deliver the first of these properties,” Asset Transfer Project Manager, Ruth Charles said.

“The Department expects the Asset Transfer Program will begin to yield more results within the next 12 months as the properties developed under the CHOs’ growth proposals become available to house tenants.

“The CHL properties in Geraldton are the start of the growth assets coming out of the Asset Transfer strategy.”

Community Housing Limited 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 preferred growth provider in NSW, Tasmania, WA and SA. Its international operations are located in Timor Leste, Chile, and most recently India. It currently manages over 3500 properties across Australia.

For more information on CHL, contact:

Preeti Daga

Coordinator – Marketing and Communications                           

t   03 9856 0021  m 0430 555 241

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